I would like to ask if singing out loud in a videoke in the ship may be a valid ground for disciplinary action against a seafarer?
Section 1(B) Rule II, Part VI of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) Rules and Regulations Governing Recruitment and Employment of Seafarers is the governing rule with respect to the disciplinary action against seafarers during their employment. One of the grounds mentioned therein is Insubordination. Under the rules, Insubordination includes the following : (a) any act of disobedience to lawful orders of a superior officer; (b) attempting to assault a superior officer; (c) assaulting a superior officer/other persons on business with the ship without the use of deadly weapon; (d) assaulting a superior officer/other persons on business with the ship with the use of deadly weapon; (e) behaving with disrespect toward a superior officer; (f) insulting a superior officer by word or deed; (g) inciting another to commit insubordination (Section 1 [B] [ 5]). It is also provided under the rules that a seafarer may be subjected to disciplinary action for other gross misbehaviors prejudicial to good order and discipline (Section 1 [B] ). A complaint involving disciplinary action cases against seafarers shall be filed with the Adjudication Office of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) (Section 2, POEA Rules and Regulations Governing the Recruitment and Employment of Seafarers).
Singing out loud in a videoke is not one of the grounds expressly mentioned to hold a seafarer for disciplinary action. Even if not expressly mentioned above, however, your act may still constitute some other grounds to hold you liable such as Insubordination when singing in a videoke constitutes disobedience to lawful order of superior officer, an insult to a superior officer or for gross misbehavior prejudicial to good order and discipline.
We hope that we have answered your query. Our legal opinion may vary if other facts are stated or elaborated.
Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to email@example.com