THE Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) has ordered manning agencies to absorb the cost of quarantining seafarers.

According to Department Order (DO) 211-A series of 2020 released Thursday, “the Philippine Manning Agency or the ship owners they represent shall cover the board and lodging of their deployed seafarers during their quarantine period.”

The order also assigned them the responsibility for board and lodging regardless of quarantine conditions and even after quarantines expire.

DoLE said the order is consistent with the International Labor Organization’s (ILO) Information Note on Maritime Labor Issues and Coronavirus issued last month, as well as the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases’s Resolution No. 23 which called for the mandatory quarantine of all repatriated OFWs.

The DO amends DO 211 issued in March.

DoLE directed Philippine Overseas Employment Administration and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration “to strictly implement pertinent provisions of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 in the areas of social protection, maritime occupational safety and health, medical repatriation and other seafaring concerns, guided by the Information Note on Maritime Labor Issues and Coronavirus (COVID-19).” — Gillian M. Cortez