On the 26th November, IMEC’s CEO Francesco Gargiulo, voiced his growing concern over the ambulance chasing situation in the Philippines.
According to Mr. Gargiulo, ambulance chasing lawyers were one of the major factors in operators deciding to explore alternative manpower sources, “particularly when the closing down of the Philippines due to the pandemic had forced them to “temporarily” look elsewhere.”
Many of those temporary arrangements were now proving less problematic than a return to the old source and this was a warning the Philippines should heed
Mr. Gargiulo said, making a reference to the IMEC 2021 review which showed a small decline in the share of global supply for Filipino Ratings in favour of Indian Ratings since 2015 and the Indian sub-continent having overtaken the Philippines as the number one supplier of Officers in 2017.
Responding to the Administrator of MARINA VAdm Robert Argugay Empedrad’s industry update, Mr. Gargiulo welcomed the initiative to cancel the Seaman’s Books of those who have been declared as permanently disabled, but questioned the effectiveness of seafarer ambulance chasing awareness campaigns as a standalone approach.
He also supported the concept of recognising escrow as a mode of executing the judgement awards in the country and encouraged the Philippines government to give this bill the consideration it desperately needs, he saw this as the key to addressing the situation.
Mr. Gargiulo concluded by congratulating the government on the movement of seafarers during the Covid-19 pandemic.
After a slow start, the Philippines government was one of the few who listened to the industry, which resulted in the country becoming a hub for crew changes, for seafarers of all nationalities
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