400,000 Pinoy Seafarers Deployment Seen

A record 400,000 Filipino seafarers may be deployed worldwide by the end of this year despite the crisis in Europe, according to projections of the Philippine manning industry.
In a statement, Eduardo U. Manese, Joint Manning Group (JMG) chairman, said the projected seafarers deployment would have an expected foreign currency remittance of about US$ 4 billion to the Philippine economy.
JMG, which is the umbrella organization of the country’s crew management and overseas shipping industry, has vowed to strongly support and work together with the Department of Labor Employment (DOLE) and its line agencies in preserving the sector’s achievement as the top supplier of seafarers to the world’s merchant marine fleet.
“DOLE has been working closely with us to address pressing issues concerning the ratification of the Maritime Labor Convention and the Seafarers’ Identification Document, and the anti-piracy program to help our seafarers combat piracy in the high seas,” Manese said.
Manese said that despite the financial crisis affecting European economies, demand for Filipino seafarers to operate commercial ships of various flags had hardly diminished.
Figures from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration show that in 2010, the Philippines deployed 347,000 shipboard personnel, which was 5.06 percent higher than in 2009.
“We’ve maintained our position in the maritime manpower market as shipowners re-think strategies to cut costs while keeping their commitment to meet minimum standards of international conventions in view of the regulatory changes that will affect maritime manpower,” Manese said.
In 2012, changes in the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping Convention of the International Maritime Organization and the Maritime Labor Convention of the International Labor Organization will be enforced.
These regulatory changes would affect the overall maritime manpower market, Manese said.
JMG is composed of the Filipino Association for Mariners’ Employment, the Philippine Association of Manning Agencies and Shipmanagers, the International Maritime Association of the Philippines, the Philippine Japan Manning Consultative Council, and the Filipino Shipowners Association.

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