As Reported HERE
MANILA, Philippines — The Associated Marine Officers’ and Seamen’s Union of the Philippines (AMOSUP), the biggest union of mariners in the world with some 90,000 members, said Tuesday not even a centavo must be deducted from the salary of Filipino seafarers for their “anti-piracy” training for overseas deployment.
AMOSUP executive vice president Eduardo Ma. R. Santos (AFP, ret.), who is a former chief of the Philippine Navy told the Manila Bulletin in an interview, the concerned shipowners and their agents are duty- bound to defray expenses for the said kind of training to prepare and equip the seafarers against any possible attacks while on board ships where they are deployed.
“The anti-piracy training for seafarers for overseas deployment is a mandatory requirement of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), and cannot be waived”, said Santos, who was visibly concerned with the situation of Filipino seafarers, together with seafarers of other nationalities, who are presently being held hostage by Somali pirates near the Gulf of Aden in Seychelles
“The shipowners or their agents are duty-bound to defray for the training expenses,” he said, not the government, stressing that sanctions will definitely be pounded on violators.
Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz and Maritime Training Council (MTC) Executive Director Liberty Casco supported Admiral Santos’ stance.
Of late, a Filipino member of the crew of the seajacked cargo vessel identified as ‘MV Beluga Nomination’ was gunned down during a rescue operation by the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), while another Filipino crewman is still reported missing after jumping overboard during the said CMF rescue operation.
Reports have it that around 155 Filipino seafarers are being held hostage in the Somalia area. No additional case of deaths or injuries were reported at press time, however, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Undersecretary for Special and Oceans Concerns Jose “Chito” Brillantes said in another interview, “constant monitoring on the situation of our seafarers in the Gulf of Aden and Somali basin is in place” in coordination with the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) and other related agencies.