Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Pinoy Seafarers in-Demand

The Secretary of the Department of Labor and Employment, Patricia A. Sto. Tomas said that despite the tough competition in global shipping, Filipino seafarers are still in demand and most preferred.

Secretary Sto. Tomas opposed to some media reports that the global demand for seafarers is slowing down. In fact, last year 2005 was the highest demand for Filipino seafarers in the global shipping.

"Globally, more than one million overseas employment contracts were processed, and a total of 981,677 documented OFWs were productively deployed worldwide in 2005, representing a growth of 5.2 percent compared to 933,588 in 2004" the secretary said.

She added that they have deployed more than 18,705 or eight percent sea-based OFWs in 2005 that rose to 247,707, as compared to 229,002 in 2004.

Although competition against China, India, and Myanmar rose and almost threatens the deployment of overseas Filipino seafarers, Philippines remains unbeatable.

"On the maritime front in particular, the Philippines does not compete on cheap labor costs but on stringent adherence to international standards," the Labor Chief emphasized.

"This points to the fact that our seafarers' skills and excellence are solidly anchored upon our consistent adherence to the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) amended Standards of Training Certification and Watchkeeping Convention (STCWC) that remains the indispensable benchmark for global shipping safety, conditions, and efficiency," she said.

According to Sec. Sto. Tomas, Philippines is doing good and trying its best to meet the projected demand of 35,000 for ship officer and in management area in the next five to 10 years.

She unveiled that Japan, one of the worlds’ major country that relies on the overseas Filipino seafarers show a sign that it’s ready to hire Filipino officers that the country’s training system would produce.

Likewise, she added that DOLE together with the Maritime Training Council (MTC) is having an effort for graduates of engineering courses in the country’s colleges and universities to train, shift, and study and become marine engineers.

She gives an assurance that both the DOLE's Philippine Overseas Employment and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administrations will continuously process improvements to strengthen the global demand for OFWs.

This articel was firt published in on March 17, 2006

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