Filipino seafarers won’t run out of jobs despite warnings by economists that the worst year for migrant workers has arrived.
United Filipino Seafarers (UFS) president Nelson Ramirez said the Filipinos’ untarnished reputation could easily secure them the global shipping fleet’s demand of 12,000 seafarers until 2012.
While other businesses like export-dependent industries are on the brink of collapse due to the US-led economic crisis, Ramirez maintained that the shipping sector is resilient.
“It’s impossible to be jobless (in the shipping industry),” said Ramirez.Even if some foreign vessels reduce their trips this year due to the slowing down of world trade, affected seafarers could be easily absorbed by new vessels that would be built up until 2012, he said.
Aside from the 12,000 shortage, Ramirez foresees an additional 140,000 new maritime jobs that would be made available once the new bottoms or vessels are ready to sail.
The new commissioned international vessels will require at least 15 to 23 crews each, including the ship captain, said Ramirez.
An ordinary seaman or a rating receives a monthly wage of $500 to $800 while an officer, like a ship captain, gets a salary of $8,000 to $12,000 a month.
Hinting the resiliency of the maritime industry, Labor Secretary Marianito Roque said European countries like Norway and Denmark alone have a combined demand for 13,000 seafarers and are both looking at the Philippines for their source of manpower.
Even before 2012, a total of 7,360 new vessels would be up for delivery, according to ISL Bremen and the Clarkson Research Studies. Each of these ships would need a crew of 23 seafarers or a total demand of 147,160 seamen.
Filipinos are highly regarded by ship owners for their unparalleled service and uncanny work ethic. The Philippines currently supplies one-third of the world’s manning requirement, the largest by any nationality (source: www.gmanews.tv).
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