Wed. Sep 29th, 2021

MANILA – The cost of accommodation for sea-based workers undergoing quarantine must be shouldered by their manning agencies, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said on Thursday.

“The cost of board and lodging of quarantined seafarers should be shouldered by manning agencies pursuant to ILO (International Labor Organization) standards,” it said in a statement.

In Department Order 211-A, the department has amended Paragraph III of its previous order.

“Paragraph III.3 of DOLE Department Order 211, series of 2020, is hereby amended as follows: c. The Philippine Manning Agency or the ship owners they represent shall cover the board and lodging of their deployed seafarers during their quarantine period in accordance with Standard A4.2.1, paragraph 1 (a), of the Maritime Labor Convention, 2006,” it said.

It added that the responsibility of providing for the board and lodging stated in “part 3 (b) and (c)” in Paragraph III shall apply among Philippine recruitment and manning agencies respectively shall apply whether during the implementation of community quarantine or under the new normal.

The agency also added a new paragraph regarding the implementation of maritime occupational safety and health guidelines in DO 211.

“V. The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) are hereby directed to strictly implement pertinent provisions of the Maritime Labor Convention, 2006 in the areas of social protection, maritime occupational safety and health, medical repatriation and other seafaring concerns, guided by the Information Note on Maritime Labour Issues and Coronavirus (Covid-19) published by the International Labor Organization (ILO) on 7 April 2020, IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases) directives and other subsequent lawful orders during the period of national health emergency brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic or under the new normal,” the paragraph read.

Thousands of OFWs both land-based and sea-based who were displaced by the pandemic have returned in the country.

All returning OFWs must undergo a 14-day mandatory quarantine based on IATF guidelines. (PNA)

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