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“nangangamuhan”: an analysis of the standard employment contract (POEA-SEC) for Filipino seafarers

Pia, Jean 2016. “nangangamuhan”: an analysis of the standard employment contract (POEA-SEC) for Filipino seafarers. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Abstract

This thesis explores the terms and conditions of the standard employment contract (POEA-SEC) for overseas Filipino seafarers. The contract, and the workers’ experience of it, is studied as an institutional arrangement prescribed by the Philippine government for the deployment of seafarers as contractual workers in the global labour market. This study aims to answer questions posed at the outset of this research on the enforcement and implementation of the POEA-SEC and its effectiveness in protecting the welfare and well-being of seafarers. This research examined the views, perceptions and experiences of seafarers and other major stakeholders in relation to their use of the POEA-SEC. The process of approval of the POEA-SEC was used as a case study to generate qualitative data. Multiple approaches such as legal analysis, semi-structured interviews, site observation, and focus groups were employed to gather evidence. Participants all came from the Philippines, a developing country in Southeast Asia. The thesis argues that the POEA-SEC is essentially an economic arrangement, which is fundamentally constructed to capture the remittance of workers. The contract is insufficient to address the problems associated with the vulnerability of the working conditions currently experienced by Filipino seafarers. Deploying the seafarers as short-term, contractual and cheap labour under the POEA-SEC undermines long established labour protection legislation, which is designed to protect the rights of workers to, for example, security of tenure and competitive rates of employment. The experience of the seafarers on-board the ship suggests that the contract cannot intercede in a beneficial way and falls short as a legal document to protect Filipino seafarers. The contract is remote from seafarers, merely symbolic and systematically fails to address seafarer issues, such as fatigue, stress and anxiety which affect their health and well-being. What is reflected in the inadequacy of the contract is the inability (and, it might be argued, collusion) of the Philippine state (and others, e.g. trade unions) to protect its citizens (as migrant labour) from the sometimes onerous demands of seafaring and the worst excesses of capital (shipowners and their proxies i.e. crewing agencies).

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Funders: NIPPON
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 5 June 2017
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2021 16:40
URI: http://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/101069

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