Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade has ordered a stop to the collection of uniform rental fees from applicants of the Seafarer’s Identification and Record Book at the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina), his department said.
The order came after a video was posted on social media, showing applicants being charged P25 each to borrow the uniforms and not receiving any receipt for it.
According to the video poster, the amount is excluded from the payment for the brown folder and stamp that an applicant would need to get from Marina’s main office on Taft Avenue, Manila.
If an applicant has to get a certificate of proficiency or competency, he would have to pay another P25.
This practice is an “unnecessary financial burden on our people,” Tugade said.
A notice on the order is now posted at Marina offices that states applicants must bring their own uniform and shoulder board.
Marina Manpower Development Service (MDS) Director Ma. Soterania Sinel, meanwhile, clarified that those collecting the fees were neither employees of Marina nor of MDS, but were hired directly by MEC as cooperative staff.