Salo thanks PH shipowners for willingness to train seafarer-cadets for free

Kabayan Party-list Rep. Ron Salo has thanked local shipowners for committing to accommodate cadets for their shipboard training, free of charge.

Kabayan Party-list Rep. Rob Salo (Facebook)

“One of the biggest concerns facing our maritime students is their failure to undergo shipboard training. That is why we are grateful for the commitment shown by the domestic shipowners to accommodate cadets for shipboard training," Salo, chairman of the House Committee on Overseas Workers Affairs, said in a statement Saturday afternoon, Feb. 4.

"This will go a long way in providing opportunities for aspiring seafarers and in addressing the shortage of shipboard training slots to enable them to achieve their dream of boarding international vessels," noted the veteran solon.

Shipboard training is a requirement in becoming a full-fledged seafarer.

The domestic shipowners made the laudable commitment during a hearing of the Salo-led House panel in Bai Hotel in Mandaue City, Cebu last Feb. 2.

The committee also emphasized the requirement that maritime training institutions should only accept the number of students equivalent to the number of available slots in their training vessels or with the slots they have agreed with the vessels of shipowners.

"By requiring that maritime training schools admit only the number of students equivalent to their allotted training slots, or their agreements with shipowners, we are ensuring that our seafarers receive the highest quality training and certification in line with STCW standards, therefore revitalizing our maritime industry," Salo explained.

“This requirement is aimed at addressing the findings by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) of non-compliance of our seafarers in training and certification. This measure will ensure that the Philippine maritime industry meets international standards,” he continued.

The Philippines has a huge privately-run seafarer training industry that churns out 25,000 to 30,000 graduates, of whom only a small percentage make it to sea and serve onboard an international vessel.

“The commitment shown by ship owners to accommodate cadets for shipboard training is a crucial step towards meeting the standards set by the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW)," Salo said.