Robredo plans to expand seafarers' cadetship program

Published December 16, 2021, 4:12 PM

by Raymund Antonio

Presidential aspirant Vice President Leni Robredo on Thursday, Dec. 16, said she intends to expand her seafarer cadetship program in Bulan, Sorsogon to capacitate and provide better opportunities for some one million Filipino seafarers around the world.

Vice President Leni Robredo visits the site of her Vaccine Express initiative for seafarers at the Mall of Asia (MOA) in Pasay City on Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021. (OVP)

She shared that their cadetship program has already graduated some 72 new seafarers. A cadetship training means the seafarers could be promoted to officers in a maritime shipping company.

“Ang layo ng sweldo, ang layo ng sweldo ng opisyal saka hindi opisyal. So kung ‘yung gobyerno sana tutulungan nya ‘yung mga– ‘yung mga ‘yung mga seafarers natin na magkaroon ng mga cadetship program sa mga paaralan natin (The salary of an officer and non-officer has a huge gap. So, if the government can help the—the seafarers to have a cadetship program in our schools),” Robredo explained.

The Vice President was at the Mall of Asia in Pasay City to check on her Vaccine Express initiative, where around 500 Filipino seafarers under the B3 and B5 categories were set to receive their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine.

“Mas marami– kasi ‘yung (The more) cadetship program kapag nag-graduate ka dito can- maka-qualify ka maging opisyal. So mas marami sana mga seafarers natin, ang dami natin. Mas marami sana sa kanila na mga opisyal (you can qualify to be an officer. So, more of our seafarers, and we are plenty. More of them can be officers),” she added.

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According to an online job recruitment board, Filipino seafarers can earn as much as P115,000 a month but officers can earn double or even triple that amount.

Robredo said this will also be a huge boost in the country’s economy since there are more than one million Filipino seafarers around the world. However, only 120,000 of them become officers.

The lady official explained seafarers account for more than $8 billion of remittances in a year since they send to their families 80 percent of their salaries.

If they can earn more, then they will also be able to remit more.

“So ang laki talaga, ang laki noong (it’s really big—it’s a big) potential for us,” Robredo said.

“Pag mas maraming opisyal talagang ma– madodoble triple mo kasi mas mataas ‘yung sweldo nila. ‘Pag mas marami tayong mga seafarers na nate-train, mas marami din ‘yung papasok sa (If there are more officials, you will really double triple their salaries. When we have more seafarers to train, a lot more will enter the) industry,” she stressed.