Opening address at the launch of the Safety and Health at Sea boardgame

By Ms Ma. Concepcion Sardaña, Senior Programme Officer, ILO Country Office for the Philippines at the launch of the Safety and Health at Sea boardgame, 21 November 2023, Manila, Philippines

Statement | Manila, Philippines | 21 November 2023
  • Engineer Batino of the DOLE-OSH Center
  • Distinguished officials and partners from the government, workers and employers organizations,
  • Ladies and gentlemen, magandang hapon sa inyong lahat (good afternoon to all of you)!
Welcome to the launch of the Occupational Safety and Health boardgame for fishers and other related sectors. This boardgame takes after the renowned Snakes and Ladders, an old game in Asia created in India.

I am glad that we can make this relevant to our target sectors, particularly fishers.

Let me thank the Department of Labor and Employment’s OSH Center for co-organizing this very important event, which aims to empower fishers through practical OSH knowledge in an engaging manner.

This boardgame is innovative because it fosters safety and health awareness among workers in the fishing and seafood processing sectors, possibly in other industries as well.

Labour inspection data shows that there are only a few workplace accidents reported from the fishing industry. However, the Integrated Survey on Labor and Employment (ISLE) of the Philippine Statistics Authority survey results consistently ranks fishing among the top industries for workplace accidents and injuries.

The DOLE Department Order D.O.156-16 on the Working and Living Conditions of Fishers on Board Fishing Vessels Engaged in Commercial Fishing Operations attempts to harmonize labour and OSH standards in fishing. It was developed in close consultation with tripartite partners – government, workers and employers, including agencies with regulatory functions overfishing.

The D.O. covers employment arrangements, compensation, social security benefits and OSH.

Despite a Memorandum of Undertaking, coordination challenges remain especially at the field level, among different government agencies on data sharing, enforcement and provision of technical advisory services to both workers and employers.

While the implementation of DO 156-16 is still pending, OSH-related accidents continue to happen.

It is thus important to devise a strategy that will enhance access to OSH standards and information for fishers to avoid these incidents.

The ILO Ship to Shore Rights Programme thus developed a boardgame, incorporating OSH concepts that fishers, especially aboard commercial vessels, can easily understand.

The “Safety and Health at Sea” boardgame incorporates concepts, rules, rewards and sanctions, that are practical, evidence-based, persuasive, well-targeted to audiences in the fishing and seafood sectors.

It aligns with ILO standards and responds to specific OSH risks and hazards faced by fishers relating them to underlying causes.

The boardgame also presents this content in an accessible and user-friendly way to address OSH issues on fishing vessels.

Through this simple initiative, we hope to increase the capacity of selected networks to advocate and mobilize action for the protection of fishers from unsafe forms of work on or off the vessel.

We rely on your strong support and partnership to popularize this board game.

Spread the word, keep playing and continue to do so. Together, let us build a safer and better future for fishers through decent work.

Thank you.