The immediate concern of employers and crew that as many as 50,000 seafarers faced being barred from crewing European Union-flagged vessels over qualification issues, is in the top agenda again of the Shipping industry, unions, and of the President Marcos Jr of Philippines.
Leaders from organisations representing seafarers, shipowners and other maritime employers, met with His Excellency President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr, as part of his foreign policy tour in Brussels two days ago.
Top of the agenda was the immediate concern of employers and crew that as many as 50,000 seafarers faced being barred from crewing European Union-flagged vessels over qualification issues.
As it is mentioned in the joint ITF, ICS and IMEC release, “the threat is due to a warning from the bloc’s maritime regulator that the Philippines needed to address unacceptable deficiencies in crew’s education, training and certification. Failure to do so would push out Filipino seafarers, a labour source so critical that one delegate described as too big to fail”.
Delegates were reassured to hear Marcos pledge that his administration will do “everything” to address these deficiencies identified by the European Commission’s Maritime Safety Agency “to prevent job losses among Filipino seafarers,” as he said.
Delegates also urged Marcos to defend Filipino jobs, by reforming the country’s problematic seafarers claims industry.
As it is mentioned in the release by ITF, in 2000, Filipino crew made up 28.5% of the global seafarer population, however by 2020, that figure had dropped to just 14%. “Any further decline would jeopardise the $6.54 billion in wages Filipino seafarers send home each year to their families – money critical to the Philippines economy”, as it is stated.
Source: ITF (International Transport Workers´ Federation)