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Philippine employment laws
The amended Migrant Workers Act (AMWA) requires that direct insurance is provided to seafarers; the scope of P&I cover cannot satisfy this requirement.
The language utilised in certain paragraphs of Section 37-A of the AMWA/RA 10022, and within Rule XVI of the Omnibus Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) and Insurance Commission Guidelines (ICG), is incompatible with the principle of pay-to-be-paid.
The compulsory insurance requirements envisage the seafarer being covered in full. P&I cover routinely applies a deductible.
Certain obligations under the Act extend beyond those provided for within the standard crew agreements currently in force, and appear open ended.
Even if contained within a contract of employment, some of the obligations under the Act would still fall outside the scope of P&I cover.
Manning Agents can arrange insurance cover for seafarers using an insurance provider accredited by the Insurance Commission.
The position of the Clubs in the International Group of P&I Clubs (IG) as outlined in the UK P&I Club's Circular in September 2010 (Ref: 17/10) has not altered. (See below).
P&I Clubs provide cover to vessel Owners and Charterers for their third party liabilities. The provision of compulsory insurance for seafarers under the AMWA is the responsibility of the manning/recruitment agent. Members will need to liase with their manning agents to consider how to achieve compliance with the AMWA.
It will be for each Member to decide whether they insist that cover is taken out with a local insurer approved by the Insurance Commission or, alternatively, whether they are happy to authorise their Manning Agent to provide the "Certificate of Cover".
The obligation to evidence compliance with the compulsory insurance provisions of the Act relates to those seafarers deployed from 8th November 2010 (not 7th November as previously advised). We are advised that there is a possibility the POEA may amend this date to coincide with the new POEA SEC, which comes into force on 12th November.
Amendments to POEA SEC: The final draft of the POEA standard employment contract has been circulated. A list of amendments and additions to the contract can be found below.
What are the key differences between the minimum compulsory insurance requirements provided for within Section 37-A of the AMWA/RA 10022 and the scope of P&I cover? Where can our Manning Agent obtain insurance meeting the Compulsory Insurance obligations? What is the IG's position in relation to the Certificate of Cover? Should Members sign the Certificate of Cover or authorise its issuance on their behalf? If a Member signs the Certificate of Cover or authorises its issuance on his behalf, will Club cover be prejudiced?
The amended Migrant Workers Act (AMWA) in the main seeks to label a number of existing liabilities / obligations that employers have previously faced, whether arising under the terms of the POEA Standard Employment Contract (SEC) and/or a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), but now requires that an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) has insurance for those liabilities. There are some subtle differences as to how those liabilities have previously arisen, notably under sub-paragraphs (a), (b), (c), (h) and (i), whilst there are two (2) new liabilities, both of which will be incorporated into the new POEA SEC, which will come into force on 12th November.
OUTLINEThese precautions arise from the recent decision in the “Bremen Max” case (LLR 2009 Vol. 1 81)This circular relates to <link...
14th October 2010 Amendments to POEA SEC: The final draft of the POEA standard employment contract has been circulated. A list of amendments and additions to the contract
The compulsory insurance provisions of the amended Filipino Migrant Workers Act should come into force before the end of October 2010. P&I cover does not extend to all of the compulsory insurance provisions of the Act, nor cover seafarers directly. Manning & recruitment agencies need to evidence compliance with these compulsory insurance provision before POEA issues an overseas employment certificate. This circular refers to previous circular 9/10 (June 2010).
Amendments to the Filipino Migrant Workers Act of 1995 (Republic Act No. 8042) (MWA) have now become law in the Philippines Final implementation by relevant government agencies is anticipated by 30th June 2010. Accidental death, natural death or disablement claims will be subject to the principle of absolute liability for employers. Insurance cover must now be obtained by manning or recruitment agencies for the benefit of seafarers in addition to any benefits already provided under the POEA and/or CBA s P&I clubs are unable to provide direct cover to seafarers as required under this Act. Manning agents/recruitment agents are not co-assureds on Club certificates of cover.
Salient points which were revised in the amendments to the POEA contract
Standard Terms and conditions governing the employment of Filipino seafarers on-board ocean-going vessels.
The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration has issued its newly amended standard agreement for Filipino seafarers. The new POEA contract can be used with effect from 6th June 2002, replacing the earlier contract that has been in effect since 1997. The full agreement became effective for all employment agreements signed after 25th June 2000, but the amended terms cannot be applied retroactively.