The President of the Philippines seeks to ensure these individuals can remain employed in their chosen field and continue contributing positively within the maritime industry. At a critical EU summit in Brussels, President Marcos vowed to go the extra mile for 50,000 Filipino seafarers threatened with exclusion from crewing on European vessels. EMSA's rigorous standards for education and training have put them at risk of loss of employment; however, The President’s continued commitment has reinforced the hope that these hard-working sailors will not be left behind.
Major industry players gathered for the meeting, with representatives from ICS, IMEC, ITF, ECSA and CMA CGM in attendance.
Philippine seafarers have been a major contributor to the maritime industry and have earned the nation significant foreign revenue. To ensure job security for Filipino officers and ratings, President Marcos has promised action during an important meeting about resource supply problems brought on by COVID-19. He noted that over recent years, Filipinos had led in supplying these skills worldwide—but with changes imposed due to this crisis, he hopes to continue sustaining their invaluable contribution while also providing necessary protection of employment prospects.
At the meeting, maritime leaders discussed the implications of training and curriculum changes as well as identified a concerning trend in the Philippines' insurance claims industry. Fraudulent claims have rendered Filipino Seafarers vulnerable to exploitation while spurring companies to source seafarers from elsewhere - prompting attendees’ calls for an effective crackdown on fraudulent activity within this sector.
President Marcos recently unveiled an International Advisory Committee on Global Maritime Affairs (IACGMA) to tackle the challenges of a rapidly changing maritime industry. Comprised of both public and private sector leaders, IACGMA will address matters such as training needs, claims issues and assist Filipino seafarers in navigating new fuel sources and adopted technologies expected over the coming years. The committee seeks to ensure our country’s workforce is well-prepared for this vital transition period.
IMEC CEO Francesco Gargiulo expressed his admiration for President Marcos Jr's detailed knowledge of the Philippine maritime industry and commitment to addressing its associated challenges. ICS Secretary General Guy Platten highlighted that seafarers should remain a priority in these considerations, as they are integral to driving forward this sector worldwide and particularly within key countries such as the Philippines. The delegation thus sought collaboration with local government at all levels going forwards, in order to create lasting progress for both their citizens and our greater marine ecosystem.
The Philippines has been a major contributor to the success of global shipping, yet even this crewing powerhouse encounters issues. This was recently acknowledged by President Marcos in Brussels and he is now taking steps towards progress with the establishment of a new tripartite maritime advisory body - an action which ITF General Secretary Stephen Cotto praised highly.
Secretary Bautista recently committed to accelerating action in the Philippines towards preparing seafarers for decarbonizing shipping. His ambition is that this will secure a seat at the table, enabling their rightful share of representation as we transition global fleets. In order to get there, it’s essential that maritime leaders are engaged and collaborative efforts begin now so our world can reach its zero-carbon ambitions - with Philippine contributions firmly rooted within them.
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