'Habulin sila': Pinoy seafarers' employability remains high, says Bello

Published June 4, 2021, 10:21 AM

by Ellson Quismorio

Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III is supremely confident that Filipino seafarers’ chances of employment will remain high amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III (Photo from DOLE Facebook page)

“It’s high time that we Filipinos realize [that our] Filipino seafarers are the most preferred seafarers in the world. Hinahabol yung ating seafarers kaya yung kanilang chance of re-employment ay napakataas (Employers chase after our Filipino seafarers so their chances of employment is high),” Bello said in a televised interview Thursday, June 3.

Bello was asked if he thought Filipino seafarers who had been infected with COVID-19 previously but subsequently recovered would have trouble getting hired.

“Ah, hindi po (That won’t be the case),” he said.

“Hinahabol yung ating seafarers just like yung mga nurses natin, naku hinahabol. May pending request from Germany, 15,000 nurses (Our seafarers, just like our nurses, are being chased after. There’s a pending request from Germany for 15,000 nurses),” he pointed out.

Bello has said in the past that overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in general are more preferred by foreign employers because of their hardworking nature.

“Don’t worry yung ating mga seafarers, yung kanilang employability at kanilang upskilling level napakataas kaya hindi problema ang kanilang employment opportunity (Don’t worry about our seafarers, their employability and upskilling level are high, thus employment opportunities won’t be a problem),” he stressed.

In the same interview, Bello revealed that over 564,000 OFWs have been repatriated to the Philippines ever since the pandemic began last year.

But thanks to the vaccine rollouts all over the world, economies and industries are now reopening. This gives displaced OFWs the chance to regain their jobs.

“In fact I thank Secretary Galvez for thinking of a process that would give OFWs just one dose of COVID-19 vaccine instead of two. That will facilitate the deployment of our OFWs, especially our seafarers,” Bello said in mixed Filipino and English.