January 19th, 2010

POEA issues guidelines on the computation of benefits due to seafarers on board vessels transiting the Gulf of Aden

As a background, on 7 October 2008,

One issue that came up after the issuance of the said resolution is the conflicting positions of the manning agents and their principals

on how to compute the wages if the sailing time for transiting the declared high-risk zone consists of a fraction of a day, i.e. whether the fraction will be treated as one whole day or will the wages be multiplied by the actual number of sailing hours. The POEA through its Administrator issued Memorandum Circular No. 14, Series 2009 to resolve the seemingly conflicting positions through the following guidelines, to wit:

  1. The entitlement to double wage, compensation and benefits shall commence as soon as the vessel enters the declared high-risk zone as defined under Governing Board Resolution No. 6 series of 2009. The compensation and benefits provided shall be limited to the duration of the vessel’s transit through the high-risk zone.

  2. In the computation of the daily rate of the basic pay, guaranteed or fixed overtime and leave pay, the monthly figures shall be divided by 30 days. The resulting amount (quotient) is the daily rate. This will then be multiplied by two (2) to arrive at the doubled daily rate of the compensation due the seafarer.

  3. In the case of seafarers whose overtime pay is based on an hourly rate, the computation of the daily rate shall be based on a regular working hours of eight (8) hours in every 24 hours, midnight to midnight, Monday to Sunday, in accordance with Section 10B of the Standard Terms and Conditions Governing the Employment of Filipino Seafarers On-Board Ocean-Going Vessels.

  4. Any fraction of the day shall be considered as one day for purposes of computing the daily rate.

It is worth-mentioning that pursuant to Memorandum Circular No. 12, Series of 2009, the principals/employers, through their manning agencies are required to submit a written report to Department of Labor and Employment and Department of Foreign Affairs on any incident of piracy involving their enrolled vessels, immediately after the occurrence of the incident. The report must contain a description of the incident, actions taken and lessons learned.