MANILA – Senator Raffy Tulfo on Wednesday said he will push for the approval of the Magna Carta for Seafarers as he warned lobbyists not to block the measure in the Senate, noting that this is the third time that a similar measure was filed.

Tulfo said he will not hesitate to expose the lobbyists once they try to block the measure, saying that a similar bill already passed the House of Representatives.

“I am warning you, pag pumunta kayo sa Senado at mag-lobby, I will expose you, wag kayong mag attempt. I promise you kahit sino kayo magbanggan tayo, I will not allow it, subukan nyo, I will expose you, wag kayo mag-attempt na harangin ito (I am warning you, do not attempt to lobby against the Magna Carta for Seafarers in the Senate, I will expose you)," Tulfo said during the hearing of the Senate Committee on Migrant Workers.

The senator said it is a must that the bill be passed in accordance with the International Labor Organization (ILO) which the country is a signatory.

Last month, Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go filed Senate Bill 1191, which aims to provide for a Magna Carta for Filipino Seafarers to secure the right of the country's seafarers to decent and humane employment and set a guide for them on training, overseas employment, and retirement.

The proposed measure seeks to institute mechanisms for the enforcement and protection of Filipino seafarers and provide the compulsory benefits that they deserve.

Senator Robinhood “Robin:” Padilla, on the other hand, urges active participation in international maritime conventions to ensure that Filipino seafarers will be protected.

Mahirap kalaban ang mayaman na bansa sa industriya ng mga seaman lalo na kung wala tayong backup na mga international na grupo (It's hard for us to antagonize rich nations in the seafarers industry, especially if we are not backed up by international groups)," Padilla noted.

The Philippines has been considered as the manning capital of seafarers since 1987 comprising 25 percent of the 1.5 million global seafarers. It also contributes USD6.54 billion or 21 percent of the total overseas Filipino workers' remittances. (PNA)