THE Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), through the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), has declared Yemen a “war risk” trading area for seafarers due to deteriorating political and security situation there.
Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said the POEA has set a premium pay for Filipino seamen on board ships bound to Yemen ports.
Baldoz sits as chairperson of the POEA Governing Board with POEA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac as vice chairman, and Felix Oca, Estrelita Hizon, Alexander Asuncion and Milagros Isabel Cristobal as members.
Based on the POEA resolution, seafarers on board ships calling on any of the ports in Yemen shall receive premium pay equivalent to 100 percent of the basic wage from the time the ship is berthed up to the time the vessel departs.
For ships covered by a collective agreement that provides for premium pay which is the same as, or higher than, the premium pay for entry into Yemen, the higher rate shall apply.
Seafarers shall also be given the right to decline to join the vessel if it trades exclusively in Yemen or when the vessel is expected to call on any Yemeni port.
Those who will discontinue their service on board shall be entitled to free repatriation to his point of hire and termination pay equivalent to one month basic wage, earned wages, and leave pay.
“It is the paramount duty of the POEA to provide Filipino seafarers with the best possible protection and benefit coverage under these circumstances,” Baldoz said.
In February, the POEA banned the processing and deployment of all land-based overseas Filipino workers to Yemen.
In April, the International Bargaining Forum of the international manning industry issued an advisory declaring all ports in Yemen as areas of warlike operations.