Apparently worried by its late implementation, a seafarers’ group has vowed to intensify its push for the adoption of the 2006 Maritime Labor Convention (MLC) by the International Labor Office (ILO) to protect Filipino seafarers boarding international vessels.
The International Seafarers’ Action Center (ISAC) Philippines Foundation Inc. said adopting the convention will advance not only their rights but their welfare as well.
“There is a need for the unified action by the seafarers’ themselves to push for the Philippines’ ratification of the MLC,” said ISAC President Edwin dela Cruz in an article posted on the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) website.
Diane Lynn Respall, senior program assistant of the ILO Philippine Office, said the speed of the adoption and ratification of the MLC depends on how the social dialogues are going. She said it also depends on the political will of the government to speed up the ratification process.
But lawyer Joseph Entero, ISAC vice-president and general secretary, voiced fears that vested interests of some government officials would block the ratification of the MLC.
ISAC officials said that aside from organizing the seafarers, they would also tap the ILO and other civil society groups such as the Filipino Seafarers’ Movement (FSM), the Catholic-led Apostleship of the Sea, and other institutions to help them disseminate information about, and to push for, the ratification of this important international instrument for seafarers.