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A group of maritime workers wants the law to include stronger provisions for seafarers.

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – If the Marino party-list group is re-elected to the House of Representatives in the approaching elections, it plans to add two more key sections to the Magna Carta for Seafarers bill.

Rep. Sandro Gonzalez of the Marino party-list remarked in an interview Monday evening here that the Magna Carta for Seafarers law has been sitting in Congress for two decades and has been stuck in the Senate for two years following the pandemic.

Gonzales stated that they will advocate for two additional provisions in the bill: a right against discrimination against sailors and the right to repatriation to any location.

“Right against discrimination is our top goal because most of the seafarers who are still capable of working have been barred from doing so owing to their age and gender,” the congressman explained.

Women seafarers, on the other hand, are frequently discriminated against in job applications because of their gender.

“They aren’t welcomed because of their power, or because they get pregnant, or for other reasons.” Unfortunately, stereotyping exists, and we must address it,” Gonzalez added.

In terms of repatriation to any destination, he explained that during the lockdown, the sailors were sent to various locations where they were isolated, rather than to their own regions.

Gonzales also stated that the seafarers’ bill, as well as the others that were not signed by the President, will be “reset” when the next administration takes office in July.

Nonetheless, the Marino party list will continue to campaign for the bill’s passage until it becomes law.

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