AIM on crew, during Covid19

AIM continues to monitor seafarers with pending medical treatment and schedules their doctor appointments. The people of AIM make regular calls, video-chat and consultations with repatriated seafarers, in order to check on their condition.

Our people take time to listen to seafarers’ concerns, provide moral support and explain the answers to questions.

This proved to be very useful since it helped to ease the mind of many seafarers during this pandemic. AIM provided assessments on the seafarers’ situation to their employers, whether their condition was worsening or improving.

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Mitigate risk of recurrent NLRC claims during Covid19 pandemic

After a seafarer gets injured or sick and is safely repatriated, the best case scenario is the employee recovers entirely and gets back to work safe and sound. Sometimes an illness or accident has permanent consequences, leaving someone physically limited or disabled. In this case, the seafarer will receive financial compensation, as described in their employment contract or CBA.

Legal Claims

Unfortunately some seafarers decide to file a legal claim to their employer, despite receiving the accepted financial benefits as agreed and accepted.

The Philippine authorities have set up an arrangement to protect manning agencies and principals against these practices. Employers can arrange a so called “walk-in-settlement” at the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC). Here the seafarer has to appear in person to a Labor Arbiter. All release documents of the seafarer are submitted and signed for approval. The seafarer has to declare his voluntariness to the execution of the release documents. With these formalities, in the event the seafarer would decide to file the same claim again, the release documents would stand and the employer is protected.

Covid19 pandemic

This was normal practice, and then the Covid19 pandemic changed things.
The NLRC adjusted its procedures, and even limited face-to-face contacts for a period of time. Preventing personal appearance and declaration of seafarers before the Labor Arbiters to occur. Meaning parties are then simply required to submit notarised release documents accompanied by a dismissal motion.
This ‘Covid19 proof practice’ means a risk for employers, since the possibility of the seafarers re-filing their claim successfully on the ground of involuntariness or secret deals are conceivable.

Mitigate risk

AIM found a way to mitigate this risk, while still complying with the new formalities. Before submitting the release documents for approval of the Labor Arbiter from NLRC, AIM invokes another labor authority in the Philippines to initiate mediation and counseling between employer and employee. On the request of the AIM staff, the Department of Labor witnesses settlements and execution of quit-claims. The signed and duly witnessed release documents are then submitted to the NLRC.

According to Jerome Ramientas, president of AIM Manila:

“With two labor offices involved in the settlement process, the release documents would all the more stand any attempt in the future by scrupulous seafarers to re-litigate the same claim.”

 

Seafarers are key workers

Our economy and society relies on shipping.

Despite all the crew change challenges, preventive measures and government restrictions the Covid-19 pandemic caused, ships are still crossing the oceans and seas of our planet.

Now, even more than usual, people in society should be aware of the impact shipping has on the global supply chain.

Our shops are remain stocked with food and supplies. People all around the world can continue shopping, because ships continue sailing.

Ships cannot sail without seafarers.

 

The IMO drew attention to the subject during the day of the seafarer in June this year.

AIM thinks maritime professionals should be recognised as vital key workers every single day.

That’s why AIM continuously draws attention to the importance and necessity of seafarers. By letting people know how important the maritime industry is to the world, we can raise societal awareness.

You can also help!

Let your seafarers know how important they are, and share this information in the media. The more stories we share, the more awareness will rise.

So hopefully we can all recognise seafarers as the key workers they are!

Do you see your crew members?

The Covid19 pandemic controls our daily lives. Crew changes are made nearly impossible due to the current government restrictions and preventive measures of local authorities. In the Philippines a community quarantine was promulgated by the government in order to control the spread and impact of the virus.

Many seafarers are constrained to stay on board of their vessel longer than contracts allow. Having an impact on peoples personal lives and mental health condition.

Since the current situation demands a lot of seafarers, we suggest maritime employers to monitor their seafarers closely. Crew members appreciate being heard by their company. Feeling connected and being part of a team is important to most people. Especially when you are feeling down.ISWAN published a series of Good Mental Health Guides. With providing these guides to your seafarers, you offer them evidence-based information. So they know how to protect and promote their own mental health at sea.

Additionally, we have heard reports of discrimination of seafarers once they arrived home safely. Apparently there are concerns and fears about the Covid19 virus on a local level, which are projected on seafarers personally.
Maritime employers are advised to pay attention to this situation and communicate with their crew members periodically, also when they are on leave.

Day of the Seafarer 2020

Day of the Seafarer 2020

Seafarers as key workers

Every year the International Maritime Organization (IMO) celebrates seafarers at the Day of the Seafarer.
The people working on board of the approximately 55.000 ships our global fleet counts, play an important role in maintaining the flow of vital goods. Shipping is vital to flow trade and an essential part of the global supply chain.

Even in good times, seafarers are the unsung heroes of our global economy. During the global Covid-19 pandemic they have kept on working to keep us all supplied. The crisis has led to difficult working conditions for seafarers. Crew changes are made nearly impossible, following the measures that governments and local authorities implemented since outbreak of the Covid-19 virus. Approximately 200.000 seafarers are stuck at sea. A problem with massive proportions.

They deserve our appreciation, now more than ever.

This year the IMO we raise awareness around this critical situation at the Day of the Seafarer. By sharing stories on social media with #SeafarersAsKeyWorkers everyone can help to highlight the problem.

The ultimate goal is for governments to recognize seafarers as key workers. And provide them with the support, assistance and travel options necessary, as for all key workers during the pandemic.

AIM wants to give a big THANK YOU to all seafarers. We hope the situation will improve for all of you shortly. And wish you all the best.

In the meantime, we do our best to provide guidance, illness recovery and rehabilitation to medical repatriated crew members. Even at times of the extreme community quarantine lockdown in The Philippines, AIM stayed committed to helping seafarers. Providing our clients with our services.

Despite the lockdown measures, we continued to monitor seafarers with pending medical treatment and scheduled visits to doctors. To check on the condition of repatriated seafarers, the people of AIM made regular calls, video chat and consultations with them. AIM listened to their concerns, explaining the situation, provided moral support and answered any concerns or questions they had. This proved to be very useful since it helped to ease them and for AIM to come up with its assessment on whether their condition was worsening or improving.

The biggest challenge for AIM was the assistance upon arrival for the repatriated seafarers during the extreme community quarantine lockdown period.

With complex coordination to doctors, medical experts, transport providers and hospitals we managed to provide local manning agencies support for their repatriated seafarers. Crew members were fetched from the airport by people of AIM and brought directly to the hospitals under strict supervision. For those that did not require confinement in the hospital, AIM was able to arrange facilities maintained by their local manning agencies after their medical check-up.

We hope that sharing our story helps seafarers that are currently stuck on board, to feel somewhat supported. As we want to let them know that there are many people on shore that genuinely care about them.

 

Limited services due to Covid-19

Limited services due to Covid-19

Unfortunately, government restrictions, social distancing and other COVID-19 measures limit our opportunities. We thank you in advance for your understanding. In the meantime: take care of yourself and your loved ones!

1. Adapted services of AIM Manila Inc.
In view of the global COVID-19 crisis and following the “Enhanced Community Quarantine” measures and other guidelines taken by the Philippine government this week, AIM Manila Inc. is announcing some changes of the usual service and assistance to medical repatriated seafarers. We are doing our utmost to guarantee our services the best we can.

AIM services that remain the same as standard

  • coordination, advise and consultation with the attending doctors and families
  • keeping track of medical records
  • arrange bookings and tele-conferences with medical experts

Limited services due to the Covid-19 crisis

  • airport pick-up
  • transport service to the hospital
  • lodging and accommodation
  • hospital assistance

2. Do you have a crewmember that has to be medical repatriated?
Find these possible scenarios:

  • The crew member resides in the southern part of the Philippines:
    • Land crew member in Mactan-Cebu International Airport or Iloilo International Airport
    • follow general government restricions
    • Crew member stays in home quarantine 14 days minimal
    • AIM monitors medical support via tele-conference
  • The crew member is arriving in Manila:
    • Family is allowed to pick-up from airport
    • Follow general government restricions
    • Crew member stays in home quarantine 14 days minimal
    • AIM monitors medical support via tele-conference
  • The Crew member has emergency medical condition:
    • Ambulance transport to hospital (by government or military)
    • Follow hospital protocol
    • AIM monitors medical support via tele-conference
  • AIM Manila Inc. refers to the latest version “Guidelines on POEA Transactions and OFW Arrivals and Departures during the Enhanced Community Quarantine and National State Calamity brought about by Corona Virus Disease 2019”

 

News AIM

5 year anniversary AIM

5 year anniversary AIM

AIM celebrated it’s 5 year anniversary last week with a karaoke party in Manila. In these 5 years, AIM has proven to be successful in preventing claims and get people back to work healthy. We are dedicated to continue this course for the next 5 years!

 

 

 

Josephine Sacayle

Meet Josephine Sacayle, Operations Manager of AIM Manila

We would like to introduce you to Josephine Sacayle. Josephine is Operations Manager of AIM Manila.

Can you briefly introduce yourself?

I am Josephine Sacayle, 27 years old and currently the Operations Manager of AIM Manila. I started as an Operations Assistant and was promoted in May 2017.

What do you like most about your job at AIM Manila?

Helping or being part of the recovery of sick seafarers is what I like most about my job. The “Thank you” we receive in the beginning during the airport pick-ups and check-ups of the crew is very rewarding. Then, seeing how grateful and happy they are when they are declared fit again is very heartwarming. We consider the Fit-to-Work certificates of the crew members as our trophies at AIM Manila.

Can you describe a working day?

I can describe a working day at AIM in one word: PRODUCTIVE. I usually start my day answering emails and updating our records. The rest of the day is addressing concerns or give assistance to our clients, sick crew members or doctors. The day ends in a very productive way, because I know, somehow, we lend assistance to someone.

What did you do prior to AIM Manila (education, work)

I took Bachelor of Science in Business Administration major in Human Resource Development Management at Polytechnic University of the Philippines (2008-2013).
In terms of work experience, I had my first job at a manning agency in Makati (Euro-Asiatic Shipping, Inc) as a Documentation Assistant and eventually became a Crewing Officer in the year 2015.

What do you do in your spare time?

I usually browse the internet to read various articles about current events in the Philippines or watch videos about fitness, make-ups and travel blogs. I also find time to read a book, at least an hour before I go to sleep.