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Robredo plans to invest in seafarers if elected President in Election 2022

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On Wednesday, Vice President Leni Robredo said the government should invest in local maritime schools so that graduates can meet international standards and create more officers in the field.

Robredo highlighted to One News that because the country is deploying many seafarers abroad, the government may optimize chances for maritime students by preparing them for cadetship programs as early as senior high school.

Robredo, who is vying for president in the May 2022 elections, stated that her team has already begun work on the project in Bulan, Sorsogon.

“‘Yung mga maritime schools natin, sisiguraduhin natin na at par with international standards, ‘yung mga graduates nila, para lalabas lang naman sila, maging opisyal na sila,” she said.

According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s (UNCTAD) Review of Maritime Transport 2021, published on November 18, 2021, the Philippines is the world’s largest source of seafarers, with an estimated 700,000 deployed aboard domestic or foreign-flagged seagoing vessels.

The Philippines outperformed other major seafarer-supplying countries such as Russia, Indonesia, China, and India.

“Napakadami ng seafarers natin na nagtatrabaho sa labas. Pero ‘pag tinignan natin, sa dami ng seafarers natin, sobrang small percentage niyan ‘yung mga opisyal sa barko at kung titignan natin ‘yung sweldo nila, sobrang layo,” Robredo stressed.

According to the UNCTAD report, the Philippines employs more than a quarter of all global merchant shipping crew members, with over 380,000 of them registered in 2019.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the country received $6.5 billion from its mariners in 2019, but this reduced by 2.8 percent to $6.3 billion by the end of 2020. 50,000 Filipino seamen were then repatriated, while the authorities registered 17,845 outgoing or deployed sailors.

However, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) observed that the number of Filipino seafarers deployed in 2021 is already nearly equal to those who boarded ships prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.

This suggests that the deployment of seafarers is progressively resuming, according to POEA.

POEA administrator Bernard Olalia previously stated that one of the reasons why some seafarers found it difficult to get onboard in multinational shipping companies was a lack of face-to-face training owing to the epidemic.

He went on to say that in-person training was one of the requirements for sailors to receive certification or an assessment of their abilities and competencies.

Furthermore, Robredo underlined that the government should boost the Philippine economy so that Filipinos do not have to go for work overseas in order to live better lives.

This will also benefit OFWs who desire to retire in the Philippines but are unable to do so due to greater advantages in other countries, such as healthcare for elderly citizens.

“Wala namang masama working abroad pero dapat nagtatrabaho sila sa labas dahil ‘yun ‘yung choice nila hindi dahil kasi walang opportunities dito,” she said.

On Monday, Robredo stated that migrant resource centers at the local government level must supplement the newly formed Department of Migrant Workers.

If elected, she promised to complement President Duterte’s Republic Act No. 11641, or the Department of Migrant Workers Act, signed in December 2021, with an executive order mandating the establishment of Migrant Resource Centers in every local government unit, modeled after the Naga City Migrant Resource Center.

REFERENCE/S: 
Robredo eyes investing on seafarers if elected president in Eleksyon 2022|GMA

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