Davao City – In compliance with the commitment of the Philippine Government to ensure decent work for seafarers and a level playing field for shipowners, the Department of Labor and Employment, Regional Office XI, led the establishment of the Maritime Industry Tripartite Council (MITC XI) in Davao region.

On July 9, 2013, about 45 representatives from the labor, employers (shipowners, maritime agencies and companies), and government agreed to institutionalize social dialogue and tripartite consultation on labor and employment policies and programs affecting the maritime industry in the region.  DOLE XI Regional Director Joffrey M. Suyao said that the MITC shall primarily serve as a forum for tripartite advisement and consultation among organized labor, employers and government in the formulation and implementation of labor and employment policies in the maritime industry.  “With the ratification by the Philippines of the Maritime Labor Convention, 2006 (MLC, 2006) in 2012, and the recent issuance of DOLE Department Order No. 129-13 entitling domestic Filipino seafarers to benefits and Department Order No. 130-13 on the employment of Filipino seafarers onboard Philippine registered ships engaged in international voyage, there is an urgent need to convene all stakeholders and gather issues and concerns on the implementation of the Rules,” Suyao added.

During the organizational meeting, the following were selected as officers of the MITC XI:  DOLE XI Director Joffrey M. Suyao, Chairman; MARINA XI Director Marianito Mendoza, Co-Chairman; Dolores Alegarbes of Association of Trade Unions-TUCP, vice-chair for labor; and Annaliza Claveria of Magsaysay Maritime Corporation, vice-chair for management.  Committees were also created adopting the four (4) pillars of Decent Work headed by the following council members: Katherine Lagura of ML Kathrin (Employment Opportunities Committee); Jay-ar Aninion of Marybel Water Transport (Rights at Work Committee); Gregorio Cavero of DMMA College of Southern Philippines (Social Protection Committee); and Robelito Vidal Sr. of MPSILU-ATU-TUCP (Social Dialogue Committee).

MARINA XI Director Marianito Mendoza expressed appreciation on the organization of the MITC and reiterated the agency’s commitment to support actions that would help address issues and concerns of the seafarers and ship owners.

For its next step towards a productive maritime industry in the region, the council agreed to prepare a Memorandum of Agreements and a Voluntary Code of Good Practices, which shall be signed and adopted by the council by August 2013.

The MITC is the fifth industry tripartite council in Davao region, following the establishment of the tripartite councils for Information and Communications Technology – Business Process Outsourcing (ICT-BPO-ITC), Banana (BITC), Academe (AITC), and Construction (CITC).

JCFlordelis-AO V