A Senate investigation into the protection and training of PH sailors

(photo APPLICANT)

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Risa Hontiveros is pushing for a Senate inquiry aimed at protecting the status and well-being of thousands of Filipino seafarers.

Hontiveros lamented on Friday that seafarer training and development reform is a long-standing issue and “no action has been taken so far.”

“This is a recurring problem that requires our urgent response. I applaud the President’s initial action and we expect immediate solutions from the newly formed task force.

“I will also be tabling a resolution for a Senate investigation to better protect our seafarers and avoid such unnecessary consequences in the future,” she said in a statement.

sen.  risa hontiveros

Senator Risa Hontiveros (Bibo Nueva España / PRIB Senate)

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has ordered a collective effort among relevant government agencies to ensure that the country training program and accreditation system for seafarers will meet European Union (EU) standards.

Marcos’ order came after it was reported that approximately 50,000 Filipino sailors working on European ships risk losing their jobs on the Philippines’ failure to pass the European Maritime Safety Agency’s assessment for the past 16 years.

For Hontiveros, however, government action is “long overdue”.

“Hindi is responsible for supporting the Maritime Industry Authority,” she said.

(Our sailors shouldn’t suffer because of Marina’s negligence.)

The opposition senator stressed the importance of consulting seafarers when proposing reforms, because they are the ones who will be affected.

The Ministry of Transport, for its part, assured Filipino sailors that the government was working to comply EU standards for seafarers.

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Norman D. Briggs