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    Posted March 4, 2014 by

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    ‘Waive for one year OFWs, seamen's fees’

    TWO Philippine lawmakers on Tuesday said they want required fees of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and seamen from provinces devastated by calamities be waived for one year.
    Reps. Emmi de Jesus and Luzviminda Ilagan of Women’s Group filed House Resolution 697 urging the House Committee on Overseas Workers Affairs to direct the Philippine Overseas and Employment Agency (POEA) and related agencies to waive for a year the collection of fees of processing, membership, Medicare, seafarer's registration certificate and seaman's book of OFWs and Seamen from provinces affected by the Typhoon Santi, the 7.2 magnitude earthquake and the super typhoon “Yolanda” (Haiyan).
    "These fees pose an additional burden to the calamity survivors who are in the process of rebuilding their lives. Much has been said about the survivors of last year's calamities and it is about time the government further extend a hand to help them rebuild their lives," Ilagan and De Jesus said.
    Ilagan said the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), an attached agency of the Office of the President (OP), collects fees like, Seafarer's Registration Certificate at P50 for new registrants and P150 for lost SRCs.
    "MARINA also collects P800 for the three-day processing or P1500 for one day processing of the Seaman's Book," the lawmakers said.
    The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) also collects $25 contribution upon enrollment from OFWs for insurance, health care, loan guarantee, education and training, social services and family welfare assistance.
    "For an OFW to be issued an Overseas Employment Certification, a processing fee of $100, OWWA membership fee of US$25 and OWWA Medicare of P900 are to be paid," the lawmakers said.
    Last October 2013, typhoon “Santi” devastated and submerged nine provinces, killing 13 persons and damaging agriculture estimated at P3 billion.
    In October 2013, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake wreaked havoc on the Visayas Region, leaving 222 dead, 8 missing, and 976 injured.
    The National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) on the October 15, 2013 earthquake that more than 73,000 structures were damaged, of which more than 14,500 were totally destroyed.
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