features from SOBRIETY for the PHILIPPINES:
(Without Fear or Favor)
Friday, July 13, 2012
By INA ALLECO R. SILVERIO
MANILA — Seafarers are joining the nationally-coordinated protests against the Benigno Aquino III presidency on June 23 as Aquino delivers his third state of the nation address (SONA) on the said date at the House of Representatives. They will be joining the contingent of the organization of overseas Filipino workers and their families Migrante International.
Migrante International chairman Garry Martinez said they are currently handling several cases of seafarers who have suffered labor rights abuses. He said Migrante is looking into the possibility of helping the seafarers file administrative and criminal charges against their ship companies and the manning agency.
The seafarers, June Parina, Maurecio Parel, Jesher Salvacion, Francis Dave Clementir, Mark Hinola, Khalid John Valenzuela, Junuel Blando, John dela Gubaton, Joji Hayahay and Felizardo Tono, were all recruited by JMP Polaris Navigation Inc. and deployed to work for two Taiwan-based ship companies, Meng Hao Fishery Co. Ltd. and Meng Hao Fishery Co. Ltd.
They were all led to believe that they would be working for good pay because they were promised a monthly salary of $350 each besides the $105 fixed overtime pay, as well as a separate monthly food allowance.
Just before they boarded the ship, however, they were forced to sign a new contract wherein the salaries were lowered to $250 for two years on a fixed schedule. They also discovered soon enough that the manpower agency that recruited them as represented by a certain Annabelle Palma David was unscrupulous when it came to contracts: the original contracts they signed were essentially and unilaterally voided and substituted with another that had substandard provisions. In the meantime, they were also illegally charged with placement fees amounting to P15,000 ($357).They were also forced to pay P2,000 ($48) to P2,500 ($56) for their medical examination..... MORE
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