Standard cadet training agreement

By: ATTY. DENNIS R. GORECHO April 09,2018 - 09:43 PM

Gorecho

Newspapers reported that a major fire broke out on board Maersk Honam last 6 March 2018 at 15:20 GMT, while the vessel was in the Arabian Sea which resulted to the death of two Filipino cadets from Iloilo.

On the morning of December 26, 2016, MV Starlite Atlantic sank off Tingloy, Batangas due to the onslaught of Typhoon Nina. Fourteen of the 33 crewmen onboard the vessel were rescued by the Philippine Coast Guard while 18 others are still missing, including eleven (11) students who are undergoing training since October One cadet has been confirmed dead.

Incidents like the sinking of MV Starlite Atlantic and the recent deaths of the two engine  cadets on board Maersk Honam bring forth the issue of protection of cadets while undergoing training.

Cadets are required to undergo the apprenticeship period aboard an actual ship in order to expose students to the real-life applications of the concepts and techniques that they learned in the classroom.

A Cadet refers to a student of maritime education leading to a Bachelor’s degree (BSMT or BSMarE) who is required to undergo on board training to complete the academic requirement for a maritime degreeor technical course. Under Article II (f) of the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) 2006, marine cadets are included in the definition of a “seafarer” as “any person who is employed or engaged or works in any capacity on board a ship to which· this Convention applies;”

The Standard Cadet Training Agreement on Ships Engaged in International Voyage took effect on August 25, 2013 to ensure compliance with the requirements of MLC 2006 in safeguarding the rights of and affording social protection for marine cadets while undergoing the mandatory shipboard training. However, there is no such standard agreement for cadets on board domestic vessels.

It is almost a mirror image of the POEA Standard Employment Contract for Seafarers (SEC) that contains provisions on conditions of employment, accommodation, recreational facilities, food and catering , welfare and social security protection. It likewise mandated that the Sponsoring Company shall provide the Cadet health protection and medical care  in case of training-related illness, injury or hazard or any illness, injury, or hazard occurring during the term of the agreement as well as financial security to cover compensation for a resulting permanent disability or death. The cadet or his/ her beneficiaries may receive up to Fifty Thousand US Dollars (US$50,000.00) as total permanent disability or death benefits.

The aim of the Agreement basically includes (a) to recognize that the Cadet is a maritime education student; (b) to provide the Cadet with opportunity to be trained on-board ship in accordance with the rules of Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and (c) to ensure the safety and well-being of the Cadet during the period of training until the repatriation of the Cadet.

On the other hand, the cadet’s responsibilities, among others, to (a) complete and pass the OnboardTraining Program within the period stipulated (b) perform all duties, assignments, designated tasks, and comply with the requirements, regulatons, policies, and procedures of the ship; (c) Conduct himself/herself in an orderly and respectful manner towards shipmates, passengers, shippers, stevedores, port authorities, and other persons on official business with the ship.

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Atty. Dennis R. Gorecho is a graduate of UP College of Law and is the Junior Partner of Sapalo Velez Bundang Bulilan (SVBB) law offices who heads the seafarers’ division.

Under his leadership, the SVBB actively champions seafarers’ rights through the holding of year-round, nationwide seminars to inform seafarers of their rights and legal measures to enforce them.

He is the 2016-17 president of the Maritime Law Association of the Philippines (MARLAW).

He is a legal commentator on maritime issues on print, radio and TV.

A co-anchor of the radio program Bantay OCW Usapang Marino aired over Radio Inquirer every Wednesday 10:30am to 12noon.

He obtained his B.S.Economics (Dean’s Medalist,1991) and Bachelor of Laws (1998) from UP Diliman, admitted to the bar April 1999.

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