Philippine Shipping Update

03/02/2011 00:00





Philippine Shipping Update – Manning Industry

By:  Ruben Del Rosario, President, Del Rosario Pandiphil Inc., February 3, 2011


This issue contains the following:

Seafarer must prove allegations of illness on board the vessel in order

to justify his disability claim Miscellaneous News: Accredited Insurance

Companies for AMWA; Brazilian Immigration Fines; Newly Appointed

Government Officials


Seafarer must prove allegations of illness on board the

vessel in order to justify his disability claim



On 16 October 2001, seafarer disembarked from the vessel due

to expiration of contract. He was re-examined for his next deployment

and was found physically fit.  On 2 February 2002, while waiting fo

r his reemployment, he felt pain and numbness in his left leg. He

consulted an independent physician who diagnosed him to be suffering

from critical limb ischemia. He underwent a series of medical

procedures but his condition did not improve. He finally underwent

a below-knee amputation of his left leg. He then demanded payment

for permanent disability benefits alleging that he complained of

throbbing pain on his left leg while on board the vessel but was

ignored.  He also alleged that he requested for medical check-up

after his repatriation but was again ignored.  He filed a complaint with

the NLRC on 10 June 2004.


The Labor Arbiter rendered a decision in favor of the seafarer and

ruled that seafarer’s illness was work-related.  The NLRC reversed the

decision of the Labor Arbiter. The commission dismissed the complaint

after finding that seafarer’s claims were not supported by substantial

evidence to prove that his illness was work-related.


The Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the NLRC. The court

ruled that seafarer’s claim must fail as he was unable to present

evidence that he had notified the ship captain nor  the respondent

about his alleged medical complaint while on board the vessel or

after disembarkation. 


On the other hand, vessel presented an affidavit of vessel’s manning

agent which attests to the fact that vessel did not receive any

complaint from seafarer while on board the vessel or after

disembarkation.  This affidavit was never refuted by seafarer.


On appeal to the Supreme Court, the Court ruled that seafarer’s

allegation  was a bare allegation and a mere conjecture as no

evidence was presented. Moreover, the Court said that they have

no compelling reason to deviate from the factual findings of the NLRC

stating that petitioner has failed to establish that his illness was

work-related. Hence, he is not entitled to claim permanent disability

benefits. The Court held that the factual findings of quasi-judicia

l agencies like the NLRC, when affirmed by the Court of

Appeals, are conclusive upon the parties and binding on the

(Supreme) Court.


(In this case, the Supreme Court also ruled on the issue of prescription

of seafarer’s claims. The Court ruled that seafarer’s claim has not

prescribed as under the 2000 POEA Standard Employment Contract,

the claim prescribes in three years to be reckoned from seafarer’s

disembarkation from the vessel. However, as discussed, the claim

was denied even if the claim has not prescribed.) 



Arnaldo Gabunas vs. Scanmar Maritime Services Inc., Mr. Vicente

Brillantes and IUM Ship Management ; G.R. No. 188637 ; December

15,2010 ; Third Division; Associate Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno,

Ponente  (Attys. Jerome Pampolina and Herbert Tria of Del Rosario

& Del Rosario handled for vessel interests).




Miscellaneous News


Accredited Insurance Companies for the Amended Migrant

Workers Act (AMWA)


As of this writing, the following are the accredited insurance companies:


1.      Pioneer Insurance and Surety Corporation

2.      Pioneer Life Insurance Corporation

3.      Mafre Insular Insurance Corporation

4.      Insular Life Assurance Company Ltd.

5.      United Coconut Life Planters Assurance Corporation

6.      Philippine Charter Insurance Corporation

7.      Paramount Life & General Insurance Corporation



Suspension of Immigration Fines in Brazil


Immigration fines imposed by Brazilian authorities on seafarers from

countries which are not signatories to ILO C108 or C185 (Seafarers

Identification Document Convention 1958 / 2003) have been suspended.

  The Philippine Joint Manning Group have made strong representations

to the concerned Philippine government authorities to immediately

ratify the subject conventions.



Newly Appointed Government Officials


New appointees to the government affecting the manning industry include:


1.      Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA)              -

ADMIN. CARLOS CAO, JR. (Appointed Administrator on 06 January 2011)

2.      Philippine Regulation Commission (PRC)                                       -

COMR. JENNIFER J. MANALILI (Appointed Commissioner on 09 January 2011)                           

3.      Maritime Training Council (MTC)                                                    - 

DIR. LIBERTY T. CASCO (Appointed Executive Director on 20 November 2010)