Media Advisory

Ship to Shore Rights Programme gets underway in the Philippines

The European Union-funded Ship to Shore Rights Southeast Asia Programme is set to commence its field activities in the Philippines aimed at promoting regular and safe labour migration in the fishing and seafood processing sectors.

News | Manila, Philippines | 16 September 2021
MANILA, PHILIPPINES - The Philippine’s National Programme Advisory Committee (NPAC) of the Ship to Shore Rights South East Asia Programme held its first meetings online on 26 August and 16 September 2021. At the meetings, a national work plan was approved which will see activities get underway focussing on joint inter-agency implementation of existing rules and regulations related to work in fishing; coordination between national and sub-national levels of government to improve compliance with rules and regulations at the barangay and municipal levels; and development of sector and destination-specific pre-departure information for migrant fishers.

The NPAC meetings were co-chaired by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Philippines Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), together with the European Union Delegation to the Philippines. The Committee comprises key stakeholders from workers’ and employers’ organizations, as well as government and civil society, and provides technical and strategic guidance to the programme to ensure that national implementation responds to Philippines’s priorities and needs.

Dr Teresita Cucueco, Assistant Secretary for Regional Operations, DOLE, Labor Standards and Special Concerns Cluster, welcomed the new ILO programme and emphasized the importance of building on the previous milestones in the fishing sector in the Philippines. She also said that “there is a need to bring good practices at the regional and national levels down to the grassroots where improvements can have a meaningful impact.”

Director Levinson Alcantara, Director IV, POEA’s Pre-Employment Services Office underscored that “the Ship to Shore Rights SEA programme can play an important role in supporting relevant policy reviews, capacity development and collaboration with different stakeholders to give Filipino migrant workers in the international fishing industry a voice”.

During his opening remarks, Margarito Raynera, Programme Manager of the Delegation of the European Union (EU) to the Philippines, reiterated the EU’s commitment to supporting the Philippines. He emphasized: “the programme can facilitate multi-sectoral forums that are much needed to protect migrants’ rights, particularly in the fishing industry”.

Hussein Macarambon, National Programme Coordinator of the Ship to Shore Rights Southeast Asia (SEA), recognized the role of the NPAC and its invaluable advice and guidance in the formulation of the national work plan of the Philippines. He noted that “the discussions at the meetings were important to ensure that the work plan reflected the need to engage stakeholders at the sub-national levels, and include barangay and municipal stakeholders. The guidance from the NPAC has significantly benefitted the design of the interventions in the Philippines”.

Ship to Shore Rights South East Asia (SEA) Programme is a multi-country, multi-annual initiative of the European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN), implemented by the International Labour Organization (ILO) in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The programme delivers technical assistance and support with the overall objective of promoting regular and safe labour migration among South-East Asian countries. The programme addresses the specific characteristics of work in the fishing and seafood processing sectors as well as the barriers and risks present in the migration system, which can lead to unsafe migration, decent work deficits, abuse and trafficking for forced labour.

More information on Ship to Shore Rights South East Asia can be found at