ANGKLA (#128), a party list that won and represented Filipino seafarers and the maritime industry in the 16th and 17th Congress of the Philippines, is now seeking another term in the coming Philippine elections in May.
The party list’s first nominee is Atty. Jesulito A. Manalo who is a son of a ship captain. He formed the ANGKLA Partylist with maritime experts with years of experience in the industry.
Atty. Manalo shares that seafaring was always a big part of life in the Philippines, even long before the Spanish conquerors arrived in our shores. The discovery of the Balangay is proof that our ancestors were skilled in boat-making and seafaring, Manalo adds.
Today, the Philippines provides about 30% of the seafarers that work onboard international ships that sail the world to distribute about USD19 trillion worth of goods.
During its term in Congress, ANGKLA was able to craft and pass maritime related laws in a short a span of time. Some of their landmark legislations were:
- RA 10635, Creation of Single Maritime Administration, which ensured that the training, and certiﬁcation of Filipino seafarers are compliant with global standards and requirements;
- RA 10668, Foreign Ships Co-loading Act, which implemented a more effective and less expensive inter-island shipping of goods;
- RA 10698 – Naval Architecture Modernization Law, that paved for the further development of shipbuilding and ship repair in the Philippines, giving the country another good source of employment opportunities;
- RA 10706, Seafarers’ Protection Act, that provided full protection of Filipino seafarers against unconscionable legal fees pertaining to their claims against death, occupational hazards and illnesses; and
- Validity of Seaman’s Book – extended to 10-year validity.
- RA 10963 (HB 458 & 1026) Tax Reform for Acceleration program, that reduced the estate and donor’s tax to 6% from the original 20 percent and 30 percent.
ANGKLA was also instrumental in completion of Regional Maritime Centres, in partnership with MARINA, in three cities in the Visayas. This made the maritime centres accessible to seafarers who come from these cities.
And ANGKLA remains to have close coordination and communication with all stakeholders in maritime sector in its quest to further the competitiveness of both our seafarers and the industry to become the premier maritime country in Asia, if not the world.
As our Filipino seafarers bring into the country an annual contribution of around US$4.5 Billion, it is time to give them again the right representation and protection. ANGKLA (#128) says that it is time to bring back genuine representation of Filipino seafarers and maritime sector in Congress.