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Forever single seaman?

/ 02:11 AM May 29, 2011

Every Filipino seaman is not only a navigator of a ship but also a navigator of the good future of his loved ones.

But it is an alarming fact that many of our seafarers misdeclare their true marital status. Instead of “married,” most of them write “single” on their documents for voyage, according to Atty. Alejandro Padaen, Director of Adjudication office of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).

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The common explanation of seamen on this issue indicates that they are afraid of being forced to remit 80 percent of their salary to their spouses because of marital misunderstandings.

Atty. Padaen clarified that seafarers don’t need to do this anymore. He emphasized that there is no law which states that 80 percent of a seaman’s earnings should automatically be remitted to their spouses.

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It is the right of the one who works hard overseas  to choose whom to give his or her  money to.  The beneficiary of  financial support could be his  or her spouse,  mother,  brother or  child.

The belief of many of our seamen that the government can dictate what they should do with their hard-earned money has apparently caused them to lie in their working documents. If they are caught doing this kind of falsification, they can be subjected to one to two years suspension.

There is really no valid reason for a seaman to falsify records.  Remittances are encouraged but cannot be forced on any person.

Susan Andes, a.k.a. Susan K, runs the Bantay OCW foundation. She is on board at Radyo Inquirer DZIQ 990 AM, Saturdays & Sundays, 2-4 pm. Comments sent through INQUIRER.net (inquirer global pinoy section) will be sent to Bantay OCW Foundation.

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TAGS: family support, marital status, OFW, overseas Filipino worker, seafarer, seafarers, Seaman
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