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xx - Seafarers to take a hit from Global Trade Slowdown - Talk of the Town
Seafarers to take a hit from Global Trade Slowdown
« on: March 06, 2009, 03:07:33 AM »
Filipino seafarers will be affected by the slowdown in the shipping industry business.

However, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said affected seafarers will be saved by training. The DOLE said those who work in cargo ships are definitely at risk. The department sees more training as the solution.

"So what is more important is kung ma-lay up yung vessel at ibaba yung Filipino crew. Kailangang andun yung ating training program and were prepared to do that," said DOLE Secretary Marianito Roque.

The shortage in seafarers is estimated at 34,000 within five years. DOLE said, Pinoy seafarers need to be prepared.

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) has already been given P50 million for the training of seafarers.

Seafarer Al Tupas has been looking for a new employer four months since his last contract ended in November.

"Kasi ang mga owner daw, nalulugi sa freight na tinatawag. Almost 50 percent ang bumaba," said Al Tupas.

Tupas has been working as a seaman for almost 20 years. However, he is still unable to find another job.

International shipping company "K" Line explained that shipping, particularly container and cargo carriers, have been hit by the global economic crisis.

Cargo volume went down by 40 percent due to a significant slump in export and trade. Because of this, around 25 percent of vessels worldwide are expected to be laid-up or docked.

"In layman's term, it’s like operating a bus. You want it to be full of passengers. Ayaw mong kaunti lang kasi kapag bumiyahe ka ng kaunti, hindi sulit sa gasolinang ginagamit. So that's why some shipping lines have decided na i-park na lang o i-lay up yung mga vessels temporarily," said Arnie Tuazon, Vice President Marketing Officer, K-Line Phils.

Figures from the Department of Labor (DOLE) showed that around 1,800 vessels have been laid up across various ports in Asia, and about 30 of them in Philippine ports.

The Philippine Liner Shipping Association, meanwhile, said that even domestic ship owners are starting to become worried.

"The volume is not picking up. So kung ang January is a lean month, so dapat yan paakyat na nung last week of February going to March pero hindi pa nagpi-pick up," said Joy Maitim, Executive Director, Philippine Liner Shipping Association.

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xx - Seafarers to take a hit from Global Trade Slowdown - Talk of the Town
Re: Seafarers to take a hit from Global Trade Slowdown
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2009, 04:28:09 AM »
This story has some truth to it but coming from a family here whose main income set aside from mine alone in the states he is working on board as a second officer. His contract was recently extended untill 2010.

There is a shortage of second officer's as well due to cut back in retirement plans for retiring seamen here in the Philippines.

That is why you are also seeing many seamen looking for a better deal because of the bennefits package coming from the crewwing agenceis as well as the ship owners whom most are Japanese.

K-line is a large company and has had contracts going around the world for year's. Most of the crews are mixxed not all fully crewed by Filipino.

Ther are many aganceis here who do hire seamen to work under K-line but if I can recall there are several ranches of K-line out there and they are with different owners.

Just hope for the best with all of them.

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