POEA: Filipino sailors sent abroad slowly returning to pre-pandemic numbers
MANILA, Philippines — The number of Filipino seafarers being sent overseas every month is slowly returning to its pre-pandemic status, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) said Friday.
From around 15,000 in January, POEA Administrator Bernard Olalia said 30,000 seafarers were deployed in May. Olalia also said that some 40,000 seafarers were being deployed abroad before the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Nagsimula tayo noong January 21 ngayong taon na halos 15,000 ang ating marinong dineploy. Pero ngayong buwan ng Mayo, dumoble na po iyon. Halos 30,000 na po ang ating dinedeploy na seafarers patungo po sa iba’t-ibang destinations,” Olalia said in a televised briefing.
(We began on January 21, 2021, where almost 15,000 seafarers were deployed. But in the month of May, it has doubled. We have deployed nearly 30,000 seafarers to various destinations.)
“Unti-unti na pong bumabalik ang datos natin sa pre-pandemic historical data natin. ‘Yung pre-pandemic data natin, halos 40,000 ang ating pinapalabas po na mga seafarers,” he added.
(Our data is slowly returning to our pre-pandemic data. According to our pre-pandemic data, we deploy nearly 40,000 seafarers monthly.)
When the pandemic hit the country, Olalia said the number of sailors deployed abroad went down to “two digits” due to restrictions.
Crew change hubs were eventually opened to support seafarers after restrictions emerged to curb coronavirus transmission.
Crew change is essential since crew members can only serve on board a vessel without leave up to a maximum of 11 months, according to the International Labor Organization.
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.