Friday, August 7, 2015

Marina officials face raps for being rude to seafarers

Officials of the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) are facing criminal and administrative complaints over their alleged abusive behavior towards seafarers applying for a certificate of competency.
In a complaint recently filed before the Office of the Ombudsman, Jose Erwin Motin, who identified himself as an instructor of maritime law and a private consultant for Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), said evaluators from the Marina-Certification Division, namely Arthur Minion and Rommel Espedilla, must be held criminally liable for violation of Republic Act 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.
He said he filed the complaint on behalf of two seafarers whom he did not name as they were supposedly fearful of retaliation.
Motin said that based on the accounts of the two seafarers, the respondents treated them rudely when they were applying for certificate of competency, which was a requirement for their employment application abroad.
Minion and Espedilla allegedly called the applicants “liars” and ordered them to leave the office. The respondents also allegedly threatened the two seafarers with the revocation of their licenses.
Motin said Minion and Espedilla must also be held administratively liable for violating Marina’s procedures by deliberately delaying the processing of documents submitted by the two seafarers, which resulted in the cancellation of their employment opportunities abroad.
Motin pointed out that based on the operating procedures of Marina, applications with incomplete supporting documents must be turned over to the agency's Legal Division.
Motin said that until now, several documents submitted by the two seafarers, including their contracts of employment, remain pending with the office of the respondents.
Motin further alleged that many documents submitted by other applicants remain pending and unprocessed at the respondents’ office.
“Maraming papeles ang nakatambak sa kanilang custody. We were surprised that (after) two weeks…the documents were still in the custody [of respondents],” Motin said.
Motin also asked the Office of the Ombudsman to issue a preventive suspension order against the respondents while the complaint is being investigated. — JDS, GMA News

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