Romualdez vows full support for seafarers, pushes for Magna Carta passage

By LLANESCA T. PANTI,GMA Integrated News

Speaker Martin Romualdez on Monday vowed full congressional support for the maritime sector, including advancing seafarers rights.

Romualdez delivered the said message as the guest of honor at the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) Seafarers’ Expo held at the CCP Complex in Pasay City, an event he attended alongside his cousin President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr.

“Under President Marcos' leadership, we are committed to fostering an enabling environment that promotes the welfare of seafarers, supports the growth of the maritime industry, and advances sustainable practices,” Romualdez said.

“One of the significant milestones that we intend to achieve in President Marcos' tenure is the enactment of the Magna Carta of Filipino Seafarers."

The Magna Carta of Seafarers or House Bill 7325, is one of President Marcos' priority legislation that the House approved before the First Regular Session of the 19th Congress adjourned.

The bill, however, still needs Senate action.


“It ensures fair and just working conditions, provides for reasonable compensation, guarantees access to quality healthcare and education, and promotes the welfare of seafarers and their families,” Romualdez said.

Romualdez added that Filipino seafarers were the lifeblood of the maritime industry, with Filipino seafarers’ remittances reaching $6.5 billion or roughly 1.7% of the country's gross domestic product in 2019 alone.

In addition, Romualdez said that an estimated 489,852 Filipino seafarers were deployed in 2022, which means Filipinos accounted for 25% of the world's seafarers that year.

“This legislation (Magna Carta of Filipino Seafarers) is testament to President Marcos' dedication to creating a conducive environment for seafarers to thrive,” Romuladez said.

He added that the measure emphasized the importance of continuous training and skills development for Filipino seafarers, recognizing the dynamic nature of the maritime industry and the need for seafarers to adapt to evolving technologies and best practices.

"By empowering seafarers with the necessary knowledge and skills, we not only enhance their professional capabilities but also ensure the sustained growth and competitiveness of our maritime sector,” said Romualdez. — DVM, GMA Integrated News