MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation (DOTr) and several seafarer groups on Thursday (June 17) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to provide affordable temporary living quarters for seafarers.
The DOTr, the Marino Partylist, and the Associated Marine Officers’ and Seamen’s Union of the Philippines (AMOSUP) forged an alliance by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on CONDOTEL for Seafarers during the celebration of the Maritime Industry Authority’s (MARINA) 47th Anniversary.
The initiative will give seafarers decent temporary living quarters in the NCR while waiting to be deployed onboard ships, returning from deployment, and those employed in inter-island shipping.
Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade, Marino Partylist’s Hon. Sandro Gonzalez, and AMOSUP’s Dr. Conrado F. Oca signed the MOU, solidifying their partnership in providing Filipino seafarers affordable temporary living facilities in close proximity to the MARINA and other maritime enterprises.
“Napakagandang pangitain na kung nagse-celebrate tayo ng Anibersaryo, binibigyang importansya ang mga marino. In fact, the highlight of today’s gathering can be summed up into two. Una ay ang pagpirma ng Memorandum of Understanding regarding CONDOTEL na pinapakita natin sa mga marino – na para bang sinasabi ng MARINA – nandirito at gagawa kami ng gusali na kung saan doon kayo mananatili, doon kayo maninirahan at doon kayo gagabayan. Napakagandang pangitain,” Secretary Tugade emphasized in his inspirational message.
DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade recognized the efforts of Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) General Manager Jay Daniel Santiago for providing the land for the CONDOTEL, as well as the commitment of the Marino Partylist and AMOSUP for the adequate budget to be made available for the construction of the said building.
Marino Partylist Rep. Gonzalez said the project aims to provide seafarers affordable living quarters after several of them experienced eviction from their dorms in Metro Manila due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) scare.
“During the early months of this pandemic, seafarers staying in Metro Manila were evicted from their dorms and hostiles for failure to pay for their lodging because of the misconception that they came from abroad, they were carriers of COVID-19. That is our motivation for this project – the Seafarer’s CONDOTEL. With this MOU, it gives me comfort that this will never happen again,” he said.
The MOU signing was witnessed by MARINA Administrator Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad (AFP, Ret) and PPA General Manager Jay Daniel R. Santiago. –AAC