Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr wants new opportunities for Pinoy seafarers via upskilling

2023 June 26

SEAFARERS SUMMIT. President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. delivers a speech during the Seafarers Summit at Conrad Hotel in Pasay City on Monday (June 26, 2023). Marcos urged the maritime industry to adapt new technologies and secure emerging opportunities for Filipino seafarers. (Photo from Office of the President)


MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Monday urged the country’s maritime industry to adapt new technologies and secure emerging opportunities for Filipino seafarers.

In his speech during the Seafarers Summit at Conrad Hotel in Pasay City, Marcos also cited the need for the government and the private sector to work together to transform the transportation industry, including shipping.

“To facilitate this shift, there is a need for the shipping industry to adapt and integrate new developments into their fleets, starting with the retooling of existing ships and the building of newer and more modern ships equipped with these new technologies,” Marcos said.

“I am confident that, with all of us working together, we will navigate the turbulent tides ahead and chart a course towards a stronger and sustainable tomorrow for seafarers and the global community. May the winds be fair and the seas be kind to us as we embark on this journey together,” he added.

The President emphasized the importance of investing in a highly qualified and well-trained workforce.

Marcos also ordered the Maritime Industry Authority and the Commission on Higher Education to work closely with the shipping industry on the upskilling and reskilling of Filipino seafarers to help them prepare for the shift of ocean-going vessels from using the conventional fuel sources to green ammonia between 2030 to 204

“With all hands on deck, we must come together to envision and shape the future of the industry and global trade for the next 25 years. We can do this by identifying the skills required for the new generation of ships, discussing education and training requirements, and committing to a fair and just transition to build a future-ready and resilient shipping industry,” Marcos said.

Marcos assured that the government will continue to strengthen maritime-related policies and protect Filipino seafarers.

“Moreover, I enjoin all national government agencies, [multi-lateral] organizations, and private stakeholders to work together in identifying strategies to ensure the availability of skilled workers to fulfill the requirements of the shipping industry. This is expected to significantly increase by the year 2050,” he added.

Transportation Secretary Jimmy Bautista, Migrant Workers Secretary Susan Ople, Labor and Employment Secretary Benny Laguesma, other members of the Cabinet, the Diplomatic Corps and other foreign ministers and policymakers also attended the summit.

Officers and members of the International Chamber of Shipping led by Chairman Emanuele Grimaldi, other heads of civil societies and international organizations and officers and members of the Filipino Shipowners Association were also present. 

Anna Leah Gonzales (PNA)