A new resolution on energy-efficiency regulation of ships was adopted at the 65th session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO),...
In his speech at the 99th International Labour Conference, Labor Secretary Marianito Roque urged the United Nations (UN), International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to intensify efforts on keeping international seas safe.
He said international organizations should focus on sea lanes in and outside the Gulf of Aden where “serious attention and combined effort (need to) be extended to ensure the safety of commercial maritime traffic and workplaces in the area.”
The Gulf of Aden is a shipping route off the coast of Somalia that has seen increasing incidents of sea piracy.
“The situation before is that the sea jacking was happening in the Gulf of Aden. The UN has intensified the patrols in the area but the pirates have gone outside the Gulf to just about anywhere,” he said in his speech at the Assembly Hall of the UN Palais Des Nations.
Roque said approximately 500 Filipino crew members were kidnapped by pirates in the past 6 years. At least 40 are still awaiting rescue, he added.
The labor official said 30% of the world’s seafarers are Filipinos, according to statistics from the Philippine labor department.
The Philippines deployed 305,000 seafarers last year, which is a 15% increase in sea-based deployment compared to the 11% increase in the deployment of land-based workers.
Roque said the increase in deployment bodes well for the Philippines, which is also being affected by the global economic crisis. “Many shipping companies prefer Filipino seafarers because of their abilities and good work ethic,” he said.
To further engage the international community on the issue of maritime safety, the Philippines will be hosting the IMO’s Diplomatic Conference on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (SCTW) for the world’s seafarers from June 21 to 25.