WORK with us, and we will study the particular needs of seafarers to make sure that they need not worry while they are away.
Thus said Dr. Eduardo P. Banzon, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) as he addressed representatives of about 28 shipping and manning agencies at a recent forum at the St. Giles Hotel in Makati City.
Drawing from his own relatives' experiences as seafarers, Banzon said he understood the plight of seafarers and their kin who are left in the country. He added that among the health issues being closely monitored is the increasing number of HIV-AIDS cases in the country, and that "dapat matulungan sa pag-iwas ng HIV-AIDS ang mga seafarers."
Noting the uniqueness of seafarers since they are considered locally employed, Banzon also said that "kung hindi namomroblema ang seafarers, masaya sila sa barko." It is precisely for this reason, Banzon said, that PhilHealth aims to provide peace of mind to seafarers. "Importante hong iwanan ng proteksyon ang pamilya. Sabay-sabay nating pagtulungan ito," he said.
He also called for a harmonization of programs and benefits for seafarers, who number around 300,000 globally, so that they can get the most out of these initiatives. "We will leverage the funds of PhilHealth to get the best health care from our providers," he said.
Present during the forum were representatives of shipping and manning agencies such as Alster Int'l Shipping Services, Inc., Anglo-Eastern Crew Management, Crewtech Ship Management Phils. Inc., Crossworld Marine Seervices Inc., Eagle Clarc Shipping Philippines, Inc., Elburg Ship Management Phils., Inc., and Epsilon Maritime Services, Inc.
Also present were representatives of Island Overseas Transport Corp., Jebsens Maritime, Inc., Jo Tankers Phils. Inc., Leonis Navigation Company Inc., Maersk-Filipinas Crewing Inc., Magsaysay MOL Marine Inc., MST Marine Services (Phils) Inc., Net Ship Management Inc., New Filipino Maritime Agencies, Orophil Shipping Int'l Co. Inc., OSG Ship Management Manila Inc., OSM Maritime Service, Inc., Philippine Transmarine Carriers, Phoenix Maritime Corporation, Scanmar Maritime Services, Inc., Sea World Maritime, Seacrest Maritime Management Inc., TORM Shipping Phils., Inc., TSM Shipping (Phils) Inc., Unisea Philippines Inc., and United Philippine Lines Inc. (END)
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