Philippine Crew Claims / Garnishment
Philippine Crew Claims / Garnishment : Senior Claims Director Tony Nicholson at the Informa – CrewConnect Global: Asia Manning & Training Conference, in Manila.In his capacity as Chairman of the International Group Personal Injury Sub-Committees, Philippine Working Group (IGPISC-PWG), UK Club Senior Claims Director, Tony Nicholson has travelled to Manila on a regular basis since 2007, to raise awareness of concerns regarding Philippine Crew Claims. Tony was pleased to present at the Conference, with his presentation primarily focused on the issue of Garnishment.Garnishment refers to the enforcement of the NLRC (National Labor Relations Commission) or NCMB’s (National Conciliation & Medication Board) “final and executory” decisions, notwithstanding the ability to elevate those cases to the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court. In the last 24 months, 131 new cases, equivalent to USD 10,110,000 has been added to the list of quantifiable damage suffered by employers, with the total now standing at USD 16,360,000 (229 cases).Since 2009, on behalf of the IGPISC-PWG, Tony, with the assistance of local correspondents, Del Rosario & Del Rosario and Pandiman Philippines, Inc., has maintained a record of all International Group Club cases, where Garnished / enforced decisions have subsequently been overturned, or favourably modified by the Court of Appeals and/or the Supreme Court.There has been some very positive news recently, with the introduction of the ANKLA Seafarer’s Protection Act found here: which doesn’t directly address the issue of Garnishment, but does prohibit Ambulance Chasing and seeks to limit the amount a Claimant lawyer can receive in fees, to 10% of the amount awarded. However, we are also encouraged that an equitable solution in relation to the issue of Garnishment, in the form of the Escrow proposal, is now gaining significant momentum and support.
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Around a third of the world's 1.2 million seafarers are Filipinos. They contribute around US$6 billion a year to the Philippine economy. Developments in the country's employment laws are therefore of key importance to shipowners.