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- Filipino Crew

Filipino Crew

Filipino SeafarersSome 20% of all merchant seafarers come from the Philippines making it the largest single supply nation to the world's merchant fleet.

Despite perceived competition from other supply states, the numbers of Filipino seafarers onboard are increasing. According to government sources, in 2006 there were 260,084 Filipino seafarers deployed onboard. This figure represents a 4.9% growth compared to 2005.

The Philippine government is keen to promote its seafarers to the industry as the remittances which they send home have a significant impact on the national economy. The Philippines Overseas Employment Agency sets a standard employment contract stipulating the monthly salary of seafarers. This is comparatively low in international terms and therefore attractive in the profit-oriented globalised shipping industry.

Shipping companies also appreciate the general character of Filipinos and their linguistic and professional abilities. However the supply of trained Filipino seafarers is greater than the demand. Those in search of work must try their luck among the 360 manning agencies in Manila. This process can be costly and may oblige them to spend time away from their families.

For recent graduates of maritime schools, competition for jobs is particularly fierce. Of the 25,000 ordinary and able seamen who graduate annually, only 8,000 to 10,000 find the job within a year.

Training

The Philippines has 89 maritime schools. Every year 60,000 new students enrol. Of these around 25,000 will complete the three year course successfully. The majority, around 20,000, will remain at the rank of Ordinary Seaman (OS) during their career at sea. Only about 5,000 will return to maritime school after a period of "on the job" training in order to proceed to the rank of Able Seaman (AB).

Several years ago the Philippines had almost twice the number of maritime schools, more than the rest of the world combined. Following a national evaluation process, the number of schools was reduced to ensure greater adherence to international standards.

 

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