Maritime outsourcing company opens in Cebu

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Tuesday, March 18, 2014


WITH the continuous demand for Filipino seamen abroad, a Cebuano has put up what he described as the first outsourcing company for the maritime industry in Cebu.

Sheerline Philippines Inc. president Wren Rey Villafuerte told Sun.Star Cebu in an interview during the recent Trabahong Marino exhibit in SM City Cebu that the demand for Filipino seamen to work for international vessels is increasing.

Villafuerte said seamen applicants based in Visayas and Mindanao find it difficult to find jobs because most recruitment agencies are based in Manila.

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He said applicants from Visayas and Mindanao have to travel to Manila just to apply for a job and file necessary documents.

“We (in Sheerline) intend to represent companies in Manila in key provinces in the Philippines,” he said.

He clarified, however, that Sheerline is not a recruitment agency. He said they will just assist applicants in filing their documents.

“We are providing services for their crew. Services like assisting (the crew) in contract signing so he does not need to fly to Manila to sign the documents or be
dispatched for medical (examinations) or in processing visas,” Villafuerte said.

Sheerline has not closed deals yet with Manila-based recruitment agencies. There are 400 recruitment agencies in Manila for maritime jobs but only 24 of have established a satellite office in Cebu.

Villafuerte said he is working for the remaining agencies to avail themselves of Sheerline’s services.

Services

Instead of these agencies spending P120,000 per month to maintain a satellite office, Villafuerte said Sheerline can offer the same service at only P60,000 per month.

Also part of Sheerline’s services to recruitment agencies is hosting maritime job fairs. Their first fair, Trabahong Marino, had 15 recruitment agencies taking part in the exhibit and 10 non-maritime companies participating.

One of the exhibitors was Cebu-based Crew Asia. It has been in the business of hiring Filipino seafarers for the yachting and mega yachting community with 150 yatch partners.

Lisa Moran Jarque of CrewAsia said the agency hired around 400 Filipino crewmembers in February. Crew Asia also maintains offices in Indonesia and Thailand to facilitate hiring of Indonesian and Thai employees.

Jarque said the demand for Filipino seafarers in the yachting community continues to increase.

“They (Filipinos) make yachting a career, they stay long, and they work hard,” Jarque said when asked why the demand continues to increase.

About 400,000 Filipino seafarers have been deployed overseas. Filipino maritime wokers account for 30 percent of the global maritime fleet, according to Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz. Locally, there are about 60,000 domestic seafarers.

Villafuerte said salaries for overseas seafarers start at $1,000 and can go as high as $14,000 per month.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 19, 2014.

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