Lacson to help modernize shipping fleets to keep Pinoys atop int'l seafaring industry

Published December 3, 2021, 2:52 PM

by Ben Rosario

The Philippines, the leader in international seafaring, should maintain this acknowledgement by making sure that its own local vessels are seaworthy and not outdated.


Lacson-Sotto presidential tandem

Reporma presidential aspirant Senator Panfilo Lacson said this is what Filipino seafarers and the local shipping industry should expect under his leadership.

“We have so many talented seafarers, but it’s ironic that our ships are aging,” Lacson noted.

The lawmaker said that aside from making sure that local seafarers sent abroad are not trained in aging vessels here, he will also streamline the functions of agencies involved in maritime affairs to further help the industry.

“While we enjoy the headway in terms of seafaring, ang ating facilities like ships, may edad na (our facilities like ships are aging). I think we should work along the line of offering some financial package or assistance to our shipping industry,” Lacson said at a virtual forum with representatives of the shipping industry Thursday, Dec. 2.

The veteran lawmaker said this will make sure the country does not waste the talents of Filipino seafarers, who are regarded as among the best in the world and hold mostly technical and managerial posts.

Lacson noted that while the average age of ships in our neighbors in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) is eight years old, the average age of those in the Philippines is a whopping 25 years old.

Meanwhile, Lacson said proposals to create new departments such as those on maritime affairs will need at least further study.

Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, Lacson’s running mate and running for Vice President under the Nationalist People’s Coalition, stressed the need to right-size the bureaucracy instead of potentially bloating it.

“I think we should think of streamlining the functions of different agencies,” Lacson said.