More Pinoy sailors to work in the offshore industry

August 22, 2010 9:52 am 

MANILA, Aug. 22 – Industry expert and former Philippine Regulatory Commission examiner Capt. Constantino Arcellana expects more and more Filipinos sailors to work into the offshore oil industry due to the high compensation packages being offered by its operators.

Aside from huge pay, work contracts in offshore oil rigs are generally much shorter as personnel working there are rotated every three to five months, an incentive welcomed by Filipino sailors as this provides them with quality time with their families.

"Short work contracts coupled with high pay rates are generally good news to our seafaring countrymen as it gives them a lot of career options," he added.

Seafarers, regardless of nationalities and creed, are often given 10-month contracts whether working aboard freighters, tankers or bulkers.

"Maritime experts predict huge growth for the offshore oil industry due to the incessant demand of fuel oil. It will be very safe to assume that this sector will employ hundreds of thousands, if not millions of Filipino sailors in the future," Arcellana pointed out.

The Philippines supplies 28 percent of the 1.2 million crewmen working on the international maritime fleet.

The maritime expert failed to give an exact figures of Filipino sailors working on board oil rigs due to lack the fluidity of the situation but stressed that this could among to more than 10,000 to 20,000 at present.

Arcellana added he is hoping that the International Maritime Organization (IMO) will pay a close watch on the offshore oil industry sector to ensure the safety and further professionalize the personnel manning the oil rigs.

The IMO general considers crewmen working on oil platforms are generally classified as sailors due to the documentary requirements needed to be employed in one.

But the maritime body is still yet to issue a memorandum or order certifying it as such. (PNA)

LDV/PFN

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