To promote the protection of its seabased Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) members, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration-Regional Welfare Office (OWWA RWO) VI recently held a free seafarers’ rights and welfare seminar.
Thirty-four (34) seafarers and representatives from the local manning agencies attended the half-day discussion at the OWWA-RWO VI’s Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) room last January 15.
Atty. Dennis R. Gorecho, a partner of Sapalo, Velez, Bundang and Bulilan Law Offices and a prominent maritime workers’ advocate, was the head speaker for said seminar.
In his talk, Atty. Gorecho emphasized the importance of seafarers knowing applicable laws and international maritime conventions governing seafarers.
In addition, he also urged the attendees to be vigilant in safeguarding Filipino mariners’ rights as workers and to act as advocates for other seafarers.
Atty. Gorecho (standing, in blue polo shirt) orients the participants on seafaring workers’ rights on this photo dated January 15, 2016.
“Our overseas workers constitute an exploited class,” Atty. Gorecho said. “Out of despondence, they will work under subhuman conditions and accept salaries below the minimum. The least we can do is to protect them with our laws in our land.”
As of 2015, 30 per cent out of over 1.2 million seabased workers in the world are Filipinos.