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POEA: Philippine seafarer deployment recovering

POEA: Philippine seafarer deployment recovering
Cecille Suerte Felipe, Sheila Crisostomo - June 27, 2021 -

MANILA, Philippines — The country’s seafarer sector, one of the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, is slowly recovering, according to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).

“Last January, we were deploying only around 15,00 mariners but this doubled in May. We were already deploying almost 30,000 mariners to various destinations,” POEA administrator Bernard Olalia said in a briefing on Friday.

He added that the number of deployed seafarers is nearing pre-pandemic levels.

POEA data show that around 40,000 seafarers were employed in various foreign vessels before the pandemic hit.

Olalia said the number may increase further as the government has included overseas Filipino workers in the A1 priority group for COVID-19 vaccination.

He assured stakeholders that there are efforts to meet the vaccine preference of the seafaring industry.

“As much as possible, we want to meet the vaccine preference so that they will not have a problem. The government is doing its best so that all seafarers will get vaccinated,” he said.
Villars host vaccination

Sen. Cynthia Villar and her daughter Las Piñas Rep. Camille Villar were among the hosts in the nationwide vaccination of seafarers organized by the Maritime Industry Authority on Friday to mark the Day of the Seafarer.

The inoculation of around 250 seafarers was done at the family-owned The Tent South Global City in Las Piñas.

“Being protected against the virus, they can return to their ships and voyage and earn a living for their families. They are also protecting their families from potential infection in the process,” the senator said.