THE HOUSE of Representatives on Monday unanimously approved on third and final reading a bill that seeks to define the rights of Filipino seafarers.
House Bill 8057 or the proposed Magna Carta of Filipino Seafarers lays down acceptable work conditions and the job terms for seamen.
The bill also recognizes the right of sailors to engage in collective bargaining and access to training opportunities. Seamen will also be given free legal assistance if they can’t afford it.
Seafarers are a special category of key or essential workers who need special protection and fair treatment, according to the House measure.
Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani T. Zarate said the bill was needed now as the maritime industry grapples with the coronavirus pandemic. — Gillian M. Cortez