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Ople upbeat over job opportunities for seafarers

MANDALUYONG CITY -- Migrant Workers Secretary Susan Ople on Friday, August 19, said the department is upbeat over job prospects offered by the resurgent cruise line industry for Filipino seafarers and cruise line personnel.

“We are talking of employment for thousands of seafarers. Barring unforeseen circumstances, the industry sees sustained growth in demand for our maritime workers given the uncertainty in the Ukraine,” Ople said.

The Secretary said Ukraine is the sixth largest source of seafarers, but the on-going conflict has forced shipping companies to look elsewhere.

At present, one out of five international seafarers is a Filipino.

Ople said the local manning industry has assured her that they can meet the demand for Filipino seafarers.

In a recent meeting, representatives of Magsaysay Maritime Corporation told the Secretary they will hire some 5,000 seafarers for various cruise ship staffing requirements in the next three months.

“The cruise line industry offers highly competitive salaries and benefits, and I share the view of the manning industry that Filipino seafarers possess the skills, training, and attitude needed by the industry,” Ople said.

Ople underscored the important role that local manning agencies play in securing stable jobs and employment for the country’s seafarers and maritime workers.  She noted the strong partnership and engagement as well between the DMW and the shipping industry’s Joint Manning Group, or JMG.

But the Secretary reiterated her reminder for jobseekers to deal only with licensed agencies.

The cruise line industry has recorded a resurgence in operations following a two-year break caused by the COVID-19 global pandemic.

In mid-2022, cruise ships resumed regular operations last year, with about 74 percent of cruise lines and 90 percent of their total fleets now back in operations.

Industry estimates project a 58 percent increase in new passenger volume as cruise travel normalizes. Cruise lines are launching inaugural voyages of their newest ships to capture that market.  (DMW)

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Kate Shiene Austria

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Information Officer III under the Creative Production Services Division of the Philippine Information Agency. 

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