Home Migrant News DMW Urges Pirate-Prone Areas Be Declared War-Like Zones

DMW Urges Pirate-Prone Areas Be Declared War-Like Zones

DMW Urges Pirate-Prone Areas Be Declared War-Like Zones

The Philippine government is pushing for areas plagued by piracy in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden to be declared war-like zones, a move aimed at protecting seafarers and commerce.

Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) Secretary Hans Leo Cacdac made the recommendation to the International Bargaining Forum (IBF), a joint body of international transport workers and employers. The declaration would urge ships to divert their routes away from these high-risk areas.

“We can’t prevent ships from sailing, but we’re strongly advising them to take alternative routes,” Cacdac said at the Saturday News Forum. “Most ships have already started diverting, and it’s already affecting commerce.”

The IBF, which brings together the International Transport Workers’ Federation and international maritime employers, will consider the DMW’s proposal.

Seafarers Given Right to Refuse Sailing

In a related move, Cacdac announced that seafarers can opt out of sailing through the “right to refuse sailing” declaration. This guarantees protection from discrimination and blacklisting, with reassignment or repatriation options available.

The DMW has already seen 25 seafarers exercise this right, with forms downloadable online and submittable via email.

Government Assists Filipinos Abroad

The DMW also acknowledged the assistance provided by Singapore Airlines to five Filipinos injured in a recent turbulence incident on an SG Air flight. The Philippine government has pledged support to the injured and is maintaining close communication with Filipino communities in Taiwan, where tensions with China have escalated.

“We’re committed to providing assistance to our citizens in need, whether in Singapore or Taiwan,” Cacdac assured.

The Philippine government’s proactive stance on maritime safety and support for its citizens abroad is seen as a crucial step in protecting the welfare of its nationals working and living overseas.