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Marina briefs party-list on Filipino seafarers

MARINO Party-List Rep. Sandro Gonzales and Rep. Macnell Lusotan were briefed by the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) on the agency’s actions on the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) report, MV Athens Bridge situation, and other matters concerning Filipino Seafarers.

In a press release, Gonzales and Lusotan said that the corrective actions undertaken by MARINA are essential to ensure that Filipino seafarers are not prevented from deploying on EU-flagged vessels.

They said passing the EMSA audit and prioritizing seafarer vaccination are the key strategies pushed by MARINO to improve employment numbers for Filipino seafarers in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.

On the other hand, Gonzales is thankful to President Rodrigo Duterte for expediting the vaccination of Filipino seafarers.

In his letter to the President last April 22, 2021, Gonzales said that in reality, seafarers are mostly transients in Metro Manila while applying for employment. Thus, they are not given priority by the Local Government Units (LGUs) in the National Capital Region (NCR) in their vaccination program.

Also, the MARINO Party-Lust has urged the government the inclusion of subsidized training for seafarers and Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in the proposed Bayanihan 3 Bill.

In addition, the party-list also asked to include the provisions mandating relevant government agencies in partnership with LGUs to provide entrepreneurship and skills training. This is on top of the financial they can avail of, with additional funding for the DOLE-AKAP program for the provision’s implementation. It also pushes for free Covid-19 tests for seafarers and OFWs going in and out of the country. PR/ELIAS O. BAQUERO