PH in ILO list of countries with good processing of seafarer IDs

November 26 ------ The Philippines was recently included in the list of member states of the International Labor Organization (ILO) with “clear, complete, and well-documented” processing of seafarer identification document, the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) said Wednesday. MARINA welcomed the country’s inclusion saying that the Philippines is one of the first few countries to be included in the ILO’s list of member states that have fully met the minimum requirements concerning processes and procedures for the issuance of seafarers’ identity documents (SIDs).

“Noting the positive conclusions of the independent evaluation report submitted by the Philippines in accordance with Article 5, paragraph 4, of Convention No. 185 of the Offices’ assessment and the report from the Review Group established under arrangements adopted in accordance with Article 5, paragraph 6, of the Convention, the Governing Body approved the inclusion of the Philippines as the first ratifying Member to be listed as fully meeting the minimum requirements referred to in Article 5, paragraph 1, of the Convention, as amended in 2016,” the draft decision read.

According to Catherine Rodolphe-Mérot (France), chairperson of the review group, after the Philippines underwent the process, the elements submitted to them by the country were “clear, complete, and well-documented.” “As the government agency responsible to give full and complete effect on the Convention, the MARINA views this positive development as a significant step towards providing better security for Filipino seafarers while transiting either to onsign or offsign their ships or while they are on shore leave in various ports of the world,” MARINA Administrator Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad said.

Empedrad added that “the agency remains committed in ensuring that Filipino seafarers are afforded the required security of their persons whenever they leave the Philippines to work on-board various ocean-going ships.” Application and payment for the issuance of SIDs are processed online. Since it is a security document, applicants need to personally appear to the MARINA for photo and biometrics capture. It was disclosed that the process of the country’s inclusion in the list started through a formal request. To enter the list, the ratifying members must provide the ILO with a statement in an electronic form outlining the national processes and procedures for issuing SIDs.

Aside from this, members must also submit a copy of the report on their first independent evaluation carried out under paragraph 4 of Article 5 of the Seafarers’ Identity Documents Convention (Revised) 2003 and a specimen of the SID issued by them. Once submitted, the case is forwarded to the review group composed of four members appointed by the ILO. These members will be composed of two individuals from ratifying countries, one will be nominated from the international organization of shipowners, and one from the international organization of seafarers. The SID is a maritime security document developed by the ILO as a response to the increased need for security at seaports as a consequence to a series of terrorist attacks that ensued following the 9/11 incident on the United States of America and elsewhere in the world.