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Season’s Greetings, Supreme Court rules on the importance of seafarer’s faithful compliance with medical checkups with the company doctor & Firm News


Philippine Shipping Update – Manning Industry




Dear clients and friends,
Maligayang Pasko at Manigong Bagong Taon.  Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
The year 2022 has seen normalization of business in the Philippines.  We have had visits from both local and foreign clients and have given face-to-face seminars to the manning agencies and other maritime organizations.  Conferences in the labor courts are gradually becoming more in-person rather that virtual.  We do see complete normalization in the year 2023.
We thank all of you for your continued support and trust in us.  We hope that we have given the service that you deserve and we, of course, encourage you to let us know if ever our service needs improvement.
We continue our yearly aid to the Tuloy Foundation Inc., the Church of the Poor Apostolate Inc., the St. James the Great Parish and the Sacred Heart Chapel in West Crame.  We have extended assistance to various organizations and individuals who continue to suffer due to the economic slowdown.
As always, may we ask that you say a short prayer for the countless Filipino seafarers who are unable to spend their Christmas season with their families.  If you see any Filipino seafarer this Christmas season, greet them “Maligayang Pasko” from all of us here in the Philippines.
We wish all of you and your family the best of the season and may the coming year 2022 bless us all with good health, happiness and prosperity.
Ruben Del Rosario / Arturo Del Rosario
Charles Jay Dela Cruz / Joseph Rebano / Herbert Tria
Denise Cabanos / Florencio Aquino / Catherine Mangahas-Soliven / Pamela Coseip-Abarico / Saben Loyola / Gina Guinto-Ambil
Veronica Del Rosario-Aguinaldo / Josie Dino / Jay Arthur Del Rosario / Deogracias Garcia




In two recent cases, the Supreme Court stressed the importance of seafarers’ faithful compliance to observe the scheduled consultations with the company-designated physician (CDP).
Similar to both cases is the fact that even prior to finishing their treatment with the (CDP), the seafarers resorted to filing claims for disability benefits before the labor courts.
While the labor tribunals found them to be entitled to disability benefits, the Supreme Court’s take was different. The Supreme Court held that the seafarers’ action of not continuing with the prescribed treatment is considered as medical abandonment which would forfeit their right to disability benefits.
Medical abandonment is an intentional breach of duties by the seafarer, which warrants no compensation under Section 20(D) of the POEA-SEC.
The Supreme Court held that medical abandonment by a seafarer carries with it serious consequences. Under Section 20 (D) of the POEA-SEC "no compensation and benefits shall be payable in respect of any injury, incapacity, disability or death of the seafarer resulting from his willful or criminal act or intentional breach of his duties, provided however, that the employer can prove that such injury, incapacity, disability or death is directly attributable to the seafarer." It is but the seafarer's duty to comply with the medical treatment as provided by the company-designated physician, otherwise, when a sick or injured seafarer abandons his or her treatment, such may result to the forfeiture of his/her right to claim disability benefits.”  Likewise, by medical abandonment, the seafarer prevents the company-designated physician to issue a final and definitive assessment.
The lapse of 120 days for treatment does not give the seafarer the right to disregard the next scheduled appointment with the company-designated physician
The Supreme Court emphasized that a temporary total disability only becomes permanent if the company-designated physician declares it to be so within the 120-day period, or 240-day period, provided the extension was justified in the latter case, or after the lapse of such periods, and no declaration is made by the company-designated physician.
A company-designated physician’s finding that the seafarer would need “further observation” and another schedule by the said physician for the seafarer’s re-evaluation “clearly constitute a significant act that justified the extension of the seafarer’s treatment period to 240 days.”  The mere lapse of the 120/240-day period does not automatically entitle a seafarer to total and permanent disability benefits.

The company-designated physician is more qualified to assess the seafarer’s disability.
The Court again held that the assessment of the company-designated physician should be given more credence for having been arrived at after months of medical attendance and diagnosis, compared with the assessment of the seafarer's private physicians that was issued after a single examination and based on his existing medical records (by the company-designated physician). In other words, the company-designated physician is more qualified to assess the seafarer's disability.
Crown Shipping Services/Dolphin Shipmanagement Inc. and/or Carisbrooke Shipping Ltd. et.al vs. J. C., G.R. No. 214290, July 6, 2021, First Division, Justice Samuel H. Gaerlan, ponente (Attys. Florencio Aquino and Lovereal Ocampo of DelRosarioLaw handled for vessel interests)
Philippine Transmarine Carriers, Inc., and/or Seaspan Crew Management Ltd. et.al  vs. A. T., G.R. No. 234365, July 6, 2022, First Division, Justice Ramon Paul Hernando, ponente (Attys. Catherine Mangahas and Lovereal Ocampo of DelRosarioLaw handled for vessel interests)


DelRosarioLaw Senior Associate David Valencia and Dr. Edgardo Del Rosario spoke before ratings and officers of Western Shipping Pte Ltd. Singapore during its Manila Safety Seminar last 17 November 2022. David Valencia discussed the highlights and implications of the Seafarers Protection Act and Dr. Edgardo Del Rosario talked about loss prevention and crew claims pitfalls. An interactive session on related topics ensued after. We would like to thank Western Shipping Pte Ltd. Singapore for the warm invitation and for the valuable discussion and wish Western Shipping Southeast Asia Inc. all the best on their 18th anniversary celebration.
DelRosarioLaw Partner Florencio Aquino and Senior Associate Jonathan Vinarao spoke at the 2nd M/Maritime Crew Conference in Manila last 25 November 2022.  Jonathan emphasized in his discussion safety on-board the ship relating to previous experiences in crew claims cases as well as the Seafarers’ Protection Act.  Our many thanks to M/Maritime and Marlow Navigation Philippines for the invitation and see you again in your future conferences.    
DelRosarioLaw Partner Gina Guinto was the Guest Speaker at the INC Navigation Fleet Officers’ Conference held last 28-29 November 2022 at the Bai Hotel Cebu.  The conference was attended by about 70 seafarers as well as management representatives from Interorient - Cyprus office.  Gina spoke about Ambulance Chasing lawyers and its impact in the industry.




Areas of Specialization:  Labour & personal injury, litigation and dispute resolution, corporate and commercial, shipping and admiralty, intellectual property, cargo claims and charter party, transport, insurance and reinsurance, arbitration and ADR, immigration

 “‘Outstanding’ shipping boutique Del Rosario & Del Rosario is regularly sought out by the international group of P&I clubs as well as insurance companies and cruise lines. The firm has expertise in all aspects of shipping matters including labour, personal injury, vessel arrest, collisions, salvage, oil pollution, damage of cargoes, bunker claims, protection and indemnity, and ship finance. Its notable IP group has also been engaged by global giants such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Sony”. 2021 AsiaLaw Profile
“Specialising in maritime law, Del Rosario & Del Rosario is best known for acting for multinational clients in disputes relating to oil pollution, damaged cargo, salvage and vessel arrest. The group also has an extensive labour practice which is active in a full range of disputes involving Filipino seafarers. Del Rosario advise a variety of noteworthy clients, including shipping companies, insurers and P&I clubs.” 2021 Legal 500 Asia Pacific.





This publication aims to provide commentary on issues affecting the manning industry, analysis of recent cases and updates on legislation.  It is meant to be brief and is not intended to be legal advice.  To subscribe or for further information, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .




Edmon Ruiz

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