A newspaper in the Philippines reports that legislation has been introduced in the Philippines to protect passengers and crew of cruise ships from sexual and physical assaults while at sea.
Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo from Pampanga sponsored a bill which requires passenger and cargo ships to adhere to specific requirements to protect of passengers and crewmembers.
The legislation is patterned after the 2010 Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Law which was signed into law last year by President Obama. The cruise safety law was the result of the efforts of the International Cruise Victims organization.
Representative Macapagal-Arroyo said that the leading crimes on cruise ships operated by cruise lines based in the United States are sexual and physical assaults. “These crimes at sea can involve attacks both by passengers and crewmembers on other passengers and crewmembers,” Macapagal-Arroyo said.
“House Bill 4608 is being introduced to follow the footsteps of the U.S. and more importantly, to enhance safety of passengers and prevent incidents of a similar nature from happening,” Macapagal-Arroyo said.
The bill follows the U.S. law by requiring ship rails at least 54 inches in height, peep holes and security latches on cabin doors, fire safety codes, and the integration of technology that can be used for detecting passengers who have fallen overboard. The new bill also requires anti-retroviral medications and rape kits to be available on ships.
Crimes must be noted in the the vessel’s logs and reported to appropriate authorities.
The introduction of this law in the Philippines demonstrates the expansive reach of the International Cruise Victims to protect passengers and crew around the world.
Photo credit: bansangpilipinas.com