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Filipino seafarers question insurance coverage

Filipino seafarers question insurance coverage

Manila: The amended Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995 will hurt more seafarers than it helps, the Mariners Association for Regional and International Networking Organization (MARINO) said Saturday. The group representing the country's seafarers has expressed its resistance to the US$15,000 compulsory insurance provided for under the new approved Migrant Workers Act, according to the Manila Bulletin.?
"This compulsory insurance is a diminution of the established benefits for sea-based workers,'' said Milton Unso, MARINO president.?
"We are currently covered in the US$50,000 insurance being paid by foreign principals. What is the need for the US$15,000 compulsory insurance? Unless it is an addition to the previous, we cannot be part of that,'' he noted.?
Section 37A of the Migrant Act states that each migrant worker deployed by a recruitment/manning agency shall be covered by a compulsory insurance policy which shall be secured at no cost to the worker.?
The insurance policy shall be effective for the duration of the migrant worker's employment contract and shall cover at the minimum, accidental death with at least US$15, 000; natural death with at least US$10,000; permanent total disablement with at least US$7,500; and other benefits such repatriation cost of the worker and subsistence allowance.?
The compulsory insurance covers both land-based and sea-based workers.?The seafarers noted that land-based workers will greatly benefit from the compulsory insurance, adding it is the first time they have such kind of benefit.
?They urged the lawmakers to specify if the US$15,000 compulsory insurance is an add-on to the existing US$50,000 insurance paid for by foreign principals via their P&I Clubs.?
MARINO is set to submit its proposals on the compulsory insurance to the Congress Bicameral committee next week. [15/02/10]

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