CEBU

Filipino sailors wired home $1B in Jan-Feb

FILIPINO sailors on foreign ocean-going vessels wired home a total of US$1.05 billion in cash via the banking system from January to February this year, up 10.5 percent from $956.15 million in the same two-month period in 2018, the ACTS-OFW party-list group said Saturday, April 20.

“We are cautiously optimistic about the future growth in the cash remittances from Filipino sailors, in light of assurances regarding their continued employability,” said ACTS-OFW Rep. Aniceto Bertiz III.

The Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) has clarified that, contrary to a published report, the Philippines remains in the “white list” of nations deemed fully compliant with the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW).

Marina also pledged to keep the country in the “white list” of the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

Continued inclusion in the list means that all IMO member-countries should accept as valid the certificates possessed by Filipino sailors and issued by Philippine authorities.

“Filipino sailors should have no difficulty landing jobs on foreign vessels and obtaining endorsements from other countries, provided that we stay in the list,” Bertiz said.

“Our sense is, as long as we are compliant with minimum global training and certification standards for sailors, the job prospects of Philippine-educated ship officers should remain bright,” Bertiz said.

ACTS-OFW is counting on Marina’s declaration that it is taking all the necessary steps to consistently improve the country’s maritime education, training, examination and assessment system, according to Bertiz.

“We also welcome Marina’s initiative to bring in a group of international maritime experts this month to help independently audit the country’s conformity with worldwide schooling and accreditation standards,” Bertiz said.

Marine transportation and marine engineering graduates, once licensed and certified, may qualify as ship officers–masters, chief mates, officers-in-charge of a navigational watch, chief engineers, second engineers and officers-in-charge of engineering watch.

Filipino sailors serve on bulk carriers; container ships; oil, gas, chemical and other product tankers; general cargo ships; pure car carriers; cruise ships; and tugboats around the world.

They wired home a total of $6.14 billion through bank channels in the whole of 2018, up 4.5 percent from $5.87 billion in 2017. (PR)


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