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
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