Republic Philippines (RP) to produce more maritime officers in 2008
The country hopes to produce more quality maritime officers to answer global demand for Filipino seafarers, the Department of Labor and Employment said Friday.
In a statement, Labor Secretary Arturo Brion said the department has already put in place measures to intensify the country's thrust to become the main source of quality managers and officers for shipping fleets around the world starting 2008.
The policies are designed to encourage more Filipinos to become maritime officers complying with the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) amended Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW). Brion said the measures include the development of the Management Level Course (MLC), complemented by a bridging program that would enable a mechanical engineer to progress to a marine engineer after completing the required period of shipboard duty.
He cited a study that showed only one out of every three Filipino seamen function as ship officers despite the country's status as the manning capital of the world. The Philippines accounts for about 30 percent of the global shipping fleet's manpower complement.
Data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) revealed that 263,662 Filipino seafarers were deployed in 2007, complemented by a 21.7% rise in total sea-based contracts processed from 355,327 in 2006 to 432,561 last year.
The same report revealed that on the daily average, the 432,561 contracts processed per documented seafarer in 2007 translated into around 1,185 contracts processed per day throughout the year.