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Pinoy seamen need upskilling to adapt to emerging technologies

Pinoy seamen need upskilling to adapt to emerging technologies
Sarwell Meniano September 14, 2022

TACLOBAN CITY – State-run National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP) sees the need to train Filipino seafarers on future technology as more European countries have started to shift to automation of their shipping industry.

Mayla Macadawan, NMP officer-in-charge, on Wednesday said there are ongoing efforts to revise the NMP’s standards of training, certification, and watchkeeping to adapt to the emerging global technologies.

“If there is automation, it means that there is a probability that there will be a decline on the need for Filipino seafarers. We should not worry if we will address the need now. We are confident that Filipinos seafarers will remain a seafarer of choice in the world,” Macadawan told reporters.

The country has the most number of seafarers in the international fleet with 144,000 skilled workers and 74,000 officers in 2021.

Major competitors are China, India, Russia, and Ukraine.

The decline in the demand for Filipino seafarers will affect the country’s economy, according to the NMP official.

In 2021 the sea-based remittances reached USD6.54 billion out of the total overseas Filipino worker remittances of USD31.41 billion.

“We continue to encourage seafarers to upgrade their skills to sustain the demand for skilled Filipino seafarers in the international shipping industry,” she added.

Among the countries that have been modernizing their shipping operations are Denmark and Norway.

Other European countries have started using robots for underwater rescue, according to Macadawan.

NMP is the only government maritime training and research institution in the country, with its main office located in Cabalawan village in Tacloban City.

Every year, NMP provides a series of training to 10,000 Filipino seafarers through its main training complex in this city and partner training centers in the cities of Davao, Cebu, Iloilo, Bacolod, and Batangas. (PNA)