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POEA vows assistance for seafarers affected by COVID-19 pandemic

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has vowed to assist seafarers stranded ashore or in the Philippines amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In Resolution No. 13, Series of 2020, the POEA Governing Board assured protection and benefits for seafarers during the national state of calamity due to COVID-19.

Under the resolution, a seafarer who has already signed an employment contract but cannot be deployed due to the pandemic will be provided with accommodation and food to be shouldered by the principal or employer, unless provided by the government.

The aid will be provided until the seafarer is deployed or returned home, or until the cancellation of the employment contract.

A seafarer who is deployed but stranded mid-transit will also receive a basic pay, accommodation, food, and medical benefits from the principal or employer until reaching the vessel.

Principals or employers were also ordered to provide the same assistance and benefits to seafarers who have already signed an employment contract and were deployed but were unable to join their designated ship as well as other seafarers who cannot be repatriated amid the pandemic.

The POEA also said that the principal or employer of the seafarers must provide them with accommodation and food throughout the quarantine period unless provided by the government.

“Meanwhile, the principal/employers will be allowed to recover any associated cost on the said provision of assistance and benefits in accordance with the employment contract or the Collective Bargaining Agreement,” the agency added. — DVM, GMA News