Around 300,000 Phl seafarers should strengthen security measures-Angara

By Jason de asis


SENATE Office, Manila, January 17, 2011-Senator Edgardo J. Angara, who authored an Act Instituting the Magna Carta for Filipino Seafarer’s bill, expressed his concern over the four (4) Filipino seafarers captured in the Gulf of Aden last week, adding that more stringent security measures are needed to protect around 300,000 Filipino maritime workers voyaging in international waters.


Angara said that every few weeks we hear about another ship being taken along with their crew and some of those seafarers are Filipinos, lamenting that this is a troubling situation where he is hoping that the government should do what it can bring to our countrymen to safety.


Last Wednesday, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced that suspected Somali pirates seized a Danish cargo ship near the coast of Oman after it was abandoned by the pirates taking the crew members with four (4) Filipinos and two (2) Danes.


On the first day of New Year, the Senator said that two (2) more Filipinos were captured when their ship was taken in the Indian Ocean bringing the total to 113 Filipino seafarers being held captive onboard hijacked vessels in a recent string attacked by international pirates.


Seafarers in the entire world are Filipinos in almost a quarter manifesting that they are in high demand with their skills and abilities, adding that the government job is to protect their welfares and their families by ensuring their safety and security while in the fields doing their jobs.


With this in his mind, to improve the working conditions of Filipino maritime workers and to provide for their continuing training and education,  the Senate Bill 2062 was formulated and presently pending in the Senate Committee of Labor, Employment & Human Resources Development and Foreign Relations following the First Reading in the 15th Congress. (Jason de Asis)



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