Philippine Shipping Update - (Issue 2012/08)


  • Date: 20/06/2012


 In this issue:

  • Supreme Court rules determination of legal heirs is with regular courts and not with NLRC
  • Philippines ratify International Labor Convention 185 (Seafarers’ Identity Documents Convention); submits to ILO Instrument of Ratification


-----------------------------------------------------------
 
 

Supreme Court rules determination of legal heirs is with regular courts and not with NLRC

 
 
Seaman, during the term of his employment suffered a heart attack.  He was repatriated but unfortunately passed away.  Gilda, the seaman’s wife, filed a complaint for death benefits with the Labor Arbiter.  The children of the seaman from a previous marriage (which was already declared void) contested the complaint.  The children alleged that at the time the seaman married Gilda, the latter had a subsisting marriage which was not yet declared void.  As such, the marriage of the seaman with Gilda is bigamous and she cannot be considered as a proper heir.  During the conferences, the company manifested their intention to pay death benefits but considering that there is a dispute as to who is/are the proper heirs, they are not able to conclude payment.
 
The Supreme Court held that while the Labor Arbiter had jurisdiction to determine entitlement to death benefits, the determination of who the legal heirs are (i.e. the rightful recipients of the death benefits) falls within the jurisdiction of the regular courts.  The Supreme Court ordered the company to deposit the death benefits to an escrow account under the control of the NLRC in order to protect the interests of the heirs.  The heirs were also directed to initiate the necessary proceedings with the regular courts to determine the true heirs of the seaman who should be entitled to disability benefits.  The amount in escrow would only be released to the legal heirs as per decision of the trial court.
 
Gilda Lunzaga vs. Albar Shipping & Trading Corp. and/or Akira Kato and Darwin, Venus, Romeo Ulysses, Marikit Odessa, all surnamed Lunzaga; G.R. No. 200476; Minute Resolution; First Division, April 18, 2012; (Attys. Gina Guinto and Joseph Rebano of Del Rosario & Del Rosario handled the vessel interests).
 
 

Philippines ratify International Labor Convention 185 (Seafarers’ Identity Documents Convention); submits to ILO Instrument of Ratification

 
 
On 11 October 2011, the Philippines, through President Benigno S. Aquino III, ratified International Labor Convention 185 or the Seafarers’ Identity Documents Convention.  The Instrument of Ratification has already been submitted to the International Labor Organization (ILO) on 19 January 2012 and will undergo the usual process of formal registration.  Pending its formal registration with the ILO, the Philippine Government, through its Brazilian Embassy, had informed the Foreign Ministry of Brazil of the Philippines’ ratification of the Convention.  In 2011, the Brazilian port authorities imposed strict immigration regulations and stiff fines on seafarers who are nationals of countries not a signatory to the Convention.
 
The Seafarers’ Identity Documents Convention is aimed to facilitate the admission of seafarers with the required Seafarer’s Identification Document in the territory of other ratifying countries for shore leave, joining or transferring another ship, passing in transit to join the ship, repatriation or any other purpose approved by the authorities.

Industry developments

Polar Shipping

Legal, navigational and environmental resources, news and updates on the development of polar shipping. Read more


US VRP Compliance

With effect from 30th January 2014 non-tank as well as tankships calling at US ports will be required to submit VRPs.  For Club and other resources to assist in compliance click here


International Environmental compliance

Environmental Compliance resource page collates material in respect of International environmental compliance issues affecting our Members. Information from the Club, Loss Prevention and external resources has been collated in one place for ease of reference.


MLC 2006

The Maritime Labour Convention enters into force in August 2013 - resources, news & advice on implementation can be found in this dedicated section.  READ MORE


International sanctions

Recent guidance & corresponding material in respect of international sanctions against various countries has been updated with respect to temporary easing of sanctions against Iran.  READ MORE


Piracy

Essential precautions and preparation against piracy, as well as additional information and resources, loss prevention advisories and useful external web links


Emergency Contacts


If you need to call our offices out of hours and at weekends, click After Office hours for a up to date list of the names of the Duty Executives and their mobile phone numbers. 

Ship Finder


This Ship Finder is updated on a daily basis. Members who need to advise the Club of updates to their recorded ships' details should advise their usual underwriting contact.