MANILA – The Department of Transportation (DOTr), Marino Partylist, and Associated Marine Officers’ and Seamen’s Union of the Philippines (AMOSUP) forged an alliance during the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) celebration of the 47th Anniversary on 17 June 2021 by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on CONDOTEL for Seafarers.

The agreement is part of the commitment in recognizing the Filipino seafarers who play a vital role in the growth and development of the Philippine economy through their local employment taxes, foreign remittances and other economic activities.

Considering that Filipino seafarers come from the different islands in the country, and that most shipping and manning employers are based in the National Capital Region (NCR), the parties, together with the whole maritime sector, understood the importance of this initiative as this will give seafarers a decent temporary living quarters in the NCR while waiting to be deployed on board ships, returning from deployment, and those employed in inter-island shipping.

Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade, Marino Partylist’s Hon. Sandro L. 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.

Secretary Tugade also recognized the efforts of Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) General Manager Jay Daniel Santiago for the providing the land for the CONDOTEL, as well as the commitment of Marino Partylist and AMOSUP for the adequate budget to be timely available for the construction of the said building.

Meanwhile, Marino Partylist Cong. Gonzalez expressed his gratitude for close relationship with the MARINA, enabling them to contribute to this new age of service to the Filipino seafarers.
“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 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,” Cong. Gonzalez said.

Witnessing officials of the signing of the MOU include MARINA Administrator Vice Admiral Robert A Empedrad AFP (Ret) and PPA General Manager Jay Daniel R. Santiago.