OVERSEAS Filipino sailors sent home a total of $533 million (P27.8 billion) in cash via the banking system in January, up 12.7 percent from $473 million (P24.6 billion) in the same month in 2018, the party-list group ACTS-OFW said.
ACTS-OFW representative Aniceto Bertiz III expressed “guarded optimism” about potential increases in the cash transfers from Filipino sailors in the months ahead.
“As long as we keep on complying with global training and certification standards for sailors, the job prospects of Philippine-educated ship officers should remain bright,” Bertiz said.
The Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) earlier issued a statement which underscored that 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.
Marina also vowed 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 will find it easy to get jobs on foreign vessels and to obtain endorsements from other countries, as long as we are in the list,” Bertiz said.
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.
“We are 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,” Bertiz said.
Graduates of Bachelor of Science in Marine Transportation and the Bachelor of Science in Marine Engineering, 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./PN