By Ferdinand Patinio

Department of Migrant Workers facade (File photo)

MANILA – Five areas have been considered as having “war-like” conditions and were included in the International Bargaining Forum (IBF) list, the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) reported Monday.

Under Advisory No. 12-2024, the DMW said the Warlike Operations Areas are more dangerous for Filipino seafarers.

These are the 12 nautical miles off the mainland Yemeni Coast, including all ports and excluding the Maritime Security Transit (or military-established) Corridor in its entirety; southern section of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, with boundary commencing from the Yemeni coast border stretching across the Eritrea coast; Sea of Azov and the Strait of Kerch; northern Black Sea region; and all ports in Ukraine.

At the same time, the DMW also reminded ship owners and employers of the applicable benefits for Filipino workers whose destinations are included in the IBF list.

The benefits are bonus equal to the basic wage that is payable for five days minimum; doubled compensation for death and disability; right to refuse sailing with repatriation at the company’s cost and compensation equal to two months basic wage; and mandatory requirement to increase security arrangements.

The DMW said the Black Sea was classified in the IBF list as a high-risk area, which means seafarers shall be entitled to a bonus equal to basic wage payable for the actual duration of stay/transit; doubled compensation for death and disability; right to refuse sailing with repatriation at company’s cost and compensation equal to two month’s basic wage; and increased security arrangements.

The Gulf of Guinea covering the Liberia/Ivory Coast border to the Angola/Namibia border is an Extended Risk Zone, with seafarers entitled to a bonus equal to basic wage that is payable only on the day the vessel is attacked in an act of piracy; and doubled compensations for death and disability if they occur on the day the vessel is attacked.

The advisory was issued amid the series of attacks on vessels, mostly in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.

More than 25 percent of the 1.5 million mariners deployed worldwide are Filipinos. (PNA)