The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has assured continued assistance to seafarers affected by the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
In Resolution No. 13, series of 2020, the POEA emphasized the provision of assistance and benefits to seafarers stranded ashore or are facing problems in their deployment or repatriation due to pandemic-related reasons.
Under the resolution, a seafarer who already signed an employment contract but cannot be deployed from the point of hire due to the pandemic shall be provided with accommodation and food to be shouldered by their principal or employer, unless provided by the government.
The assistance will be provided until the seafarer is deployed or returned home or until contract cancellation.
A seafarer who was deployed but becomes stranded during his transit shall be paid basic pay, accommodation, food, and medical benefits at the principal or employer’s cost until the seafarer reaches the vessel.
The resolution also directs principals or employers to provide the same assistance and benefits to seafarers who already signed a contract and deployed but unable to join the ship and is repatriated back home, as well as other seafarers who cannot be repatriated due to the pandemic.
Seafarers who completed his period of contractual service onboard, and who is ashore but cannot be repatriated shall also be provided with basic pay, accommodation, food, and medical benefits.
The principal/employers of the seafarer shall also provide all the cost on the accommodation and food of the seafarer during his quarantine period, unless otherwise provided by the government.
“Meanwhile, the principal/employers will be allowed to recover any associated cost on the said provision of assistance and benefits in accordance with the employment contract or the Collective Bargaining Agreement,” the POEA said.