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Philippines to boost seafarer training for career progression


The nation’s Vice President Leni Robredo pledged for crew advancement through upskilling

In a bid to benefit seafarers, Leni Robredo announced measures to enhance access to cadetship programmes for Filipino seafarers for career advancement. It is certainly a step in the right direction for one of the largest seafarer supplying nations.

Upskilling for higher seafarer recruitment
According to United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s (UNCTAD) Seafarer Workforce Report 2021, the Philippines topped the list as the largest seafarer supplying country. Generally, seafarers are nations’ important sources of income. The report noted the Philippines (in 2019) earned US$30.1 billion from overseas workers – 9.3 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) and 7.3 per cent of gross national income (GNI), of which US$6.5 billion came from seafarers. In 2020 total remittances fell 0.8 per cent to US$29.9 billion, with those from seafarers falling 2.8 per cent to $6.4 billion.

Combine the above with crew’s proven professionalism and dedication to keep supply chains active and global commerce running, upskilling is the next natural move to remain competitive. “What is the data now? There are 1 million Filipino seafarers, but those who are officers, based on my discussions with their representatives, their estimate was that only 120,000 are officers. As it is, there are few opportunities for them to undergo a cadetship programme due to lack of government support,” Robredo noted during the COVID-19 Vaccine Express event in Pasay City for Filipino seafarers.

She added if the government supports seafarers by providing access to cadetship programmes in institutes, they would be qualified for officer ranks. More cadetship programmes will mean more officers from Philippines’ cohorts. Robredo revealed her office had a project providing a cadetship programme in Bulan, Sorsogon back in 2018, and 72 Filipino seafarers completed the programme.

“80 per cent of a Filipino seafarer’s salary is remitted to their families, accounting for almost US$8 billion a year. If more Filipino seafarers become officers, their salaries will double or even triple, and we will be able to enlist more,” she concluded. Maritime training will be of paramount importance to remain relevant in the industry, and intensify during post-pandemic recovery. Shipowners and charterers can also look to Marine Online’s extensive network for a wide array of maritime training at competitive rates for their seafarers.

Crewing Online News Team
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