The International Group’s, Personal Injury Sub-Committees’, Philippine Working Group (IG-PISC-PWG), led by Tony Nicholson, had a successful trip to Manila in May. Since filing the IG Position Paper in October 2013, there has been growing support and momentum behind the Group’s efforts on “Garnishment”.
The IG’s proposal to utilise Escrow has received strong support both internationally and locally, with letters of endorsement received from IMEC (The International Maritime Employers’ Council); UGS (The Union of Greek Shipowners); NSA (Norwegian Shipowners’ Association); ASF (Asian Shipowners Forum); and the JMG (Joint Manning Group).
At the time of filing the Position Paper there have been recorded 98 cases of “Garnishment” (enforced Labour Court or Voluntary Arbitration decisions, which have since been overturned or favourably modified by the higher courts - Court of Appeals and/or Supreme Court), with US$6.25 million due back in favour of employers.
Seven months on and a significant deterioration has been recorded, 33 new cases have been added and 2 removed from the list (the CoA’s favourable decisions were reversed by the Supreme Court), therefore increasing the total to 129 cases, US$8.79 million.
There is still much work to be done, but we are increasingly optimistic that a fair and equitable solution will be found to address this issue. As one senior stakeholder noted, the growing support for the IG’s proposal and the further deterioration noted, means “we have to do something to address this issue”.