A proposal for a new Magna Carta for Filipino seafarers.

The Magna Carta for Seafarers bill, initially passed a decade ago, aims to protect the rights of 700,000 seafarers. Despite concerns over certain provisions, the bill has been revised and awaits President Marcos Jr.'s signature. Key provisions include free training, gender equality, and legal assistance. The PTGWO urges prompt approval to improve seafarers' working conditions.
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The proposed Magna Carta for Seafarers bill was first passed by Congress a decade ago, aiming to safeguard the rights and well-being of approximately 700,000 seafarers. However, the bill has remained in limbo due to concerns over certain provisions that were deemed unfavorable to the sector. Now, the Philippine Trade and General Workers Organization, the largest federation of labor unions in the country, is urging President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to sign the revised bill, as the contentious provisions have been removed.

The approved Magna Carta for Seafarers bill includes several key provisions to protect seafarers. These include free training for cadets, reasonable training costs regulated by the government, consultation with seafarers on industry regulations, and the right to free legal assistance for victims of violations. Additionally, the bill ensures gender equality in the maritime industry, continuous professional development for seafarers, and a smooth transition back to their home country after completing contracts.

President Marcos Jr. had certified the bill as urgent in September 2023, but its signing was postponed to the first quarter of the following year. The PTGWO emphasizes the importance of passing the Magna Carta for Seafarers promptly, as delays compromise the working and living conditions of seafarers and their families. They urge the President to sign the bill into law without further delay, a plea that the Palace should consider seriously.

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