Vessel owners briefed on commercial fishing rules

THE Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Region 1 Office recently conducted a seminar for 50 vessel owners and workers from Pangasinan, La Union and Ilocos Sur on the rules and regulations governing working and living conditions of fishers on board fishing vessels engaged in commercial fishing operations.

DOLE-RO I Regional Director Nathaniel Lacambra said fishermen working in commercial fishing vessels should be afforded their statutory rights just like other workers.

He cited DOLE Department Order No. 156-16 issued in May 2016 that sets employment standards, such as minimum wage, holiday and premium pay, additional premium pay, overtime pay, night shift differential pay, paid service incentive leave and 13th month pay.

Under the rules, the fishermen working in commercial fishing vessels should be assured of safer environ and better working conditions, while enjoying employment rights and other social benefits.

The engagement of Filipino fishers must be covered by an employment agreement, he added.

Representatives from relevant agencies, namely, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board, Employees Compensation Commission, Social Security System and Maritime Industry Authority discussed their programs and services that can be availed of by the participants.

Lacambra said marginalized workers such as fishermen are among the eligible beneficiaries of the DOLE Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program or DILEEP.

D.O. 156-16 applies to fishing vessel owners, fishers, and captains or masters on board Philippine-registered fishing vessels engaged in commercial fishing operation in the Philippine or international waters. (Eva Visperas)