MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Jejomar Binay wants Filipino seafarers to maintain their competitive edge by raising the level of maritime training standards in the country.
“If we are to maintain our competitive edge, we need to enhance our maritime instructions and training to raise our standards even higher, and to ensure that the level of competence of our Filipino graduates shall always be above and beyond what the industry requires,” Binay said.
Binay attended the 10th commencement exercises of the Maritime Academy of Asia and the Pacific (MAAP) in Mariveles, Bataan.
He praised MAAP for providing full scholarships to its students and said "this expression of solidarity and subsidiarity is something that schools of all scales should seek to emulate.”
"Your investments in simulators and other state-of-the-art facilities provide a total learning experience for your scholars and better prepares them for the duties that they shall soon assume," he added.
The Presidential Adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) Concerns said there are currently 350,000 Filipinos deployed in the international fleet.
“Our Philippines has become the manning capital of the world. There are over a million and a quarter seafarers working on ships across the seven seas and one of every four is a countryman of ours,” he said.
He said the Pinoy seafarers contribute greatly to the economic coffers.
“In 2011 alone, our seafarers funneled $3.8 billion to our economy and these figures are expected to increase further in the coming years,” said Binay.
Employers abroad favor Filipino seafarers because of their competence, skills and values. These are also the qualities that set them apart from their foreign counterpart.
He called on the graduates to be "the best emissaries of the academy and the truest ambassadors of the Philippines."