Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO) hailed the Philippines as the world’s top supplier for Ratings seafarer.
This is in the midst of the looming catastrophe of losing more than 20,000 jobs for Filipino seafarers if the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) once again gave a failing grade to the Philippines for its failure to meet the international standards when it comes to quality management of trainings for seafarers and the substandard maritime schools.
According to the latest research report of BIMCO, the Philippines emerged as the biggest supplier of seafarers on international merchant ships followed by China, Indonesia, Russia and the Ukraine.
It said that 1,647,500 Filipino seafarers (Ratings) were deployed, but China leads in the number of supervisory positions, followed by the Philippines, India, Indonesia and Russia.
However, India with 12 percent of the world’s population has just 8 percent of the seafarers’ market, while the Philippines with two percent of the population have grabbed about 20 percent global share, the report said.
India ended the year 2017 with 154,349 seafarers engaged on merchant ships, compared to 143,940 in 2016. Of this, 71,777 are officers, while 83,172 are ratings, accounting for 97,937 jobs on the nautical side and 56,412 on the engineering side.
The BIMCO report predicted that an additional 147,500 officers would be required by the year 2025 to serve the ongoing expansion of the world merchant navy fleet India’s leading maritime associations – Maritime Association of Shipowners Shipmanagers and Agents (MASSA) and Foreign Shipowners Representatives and Ship Managers Association (FOSMA) have jointly undertaken a benchmarking exercise to rate the quality of Indian maritime institutes to enhance the employment prospects and global share of Indian seafarers in the years to come.
The rating exercise was done by the Mumbai-based research agency, IIRE. India has about 134 maritime institutes, of which 81 conduct pre-sea training courses for trainee officers/cadets and trainee ratings, and 53 offer post-sea training, a specialized professional program for full-fledged officers in both the nautical and engineering streams. Both MASSA and FOSMA intend to conduct such benchmarking exercises at regular intervals to monitor the country’s maritime training infrastructure and thus continue to stimulate the growth of the country’s maritime sector, said Prashant Rangnekar, Chairman, MAASA.
Just recently, the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) admitted that the Philippines’ seafarer deployments were stashed by 64,748, citing also report from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).
It said that OWWA logged 378,072 deployment in 2017, from 442, 820 seafarers deployed overseas in 2016.
BIMCO is the largest of the international shipping associations representing shipowners; its membership controls around 65 percent of the world’s tonnage and it has members in more than 120 countries, including managers, brokers and agents.
The association’s main objective is to protect its global membership through the provision of information and advice, and while promoting fair business practices, facilitate harmonisation and standardization of commercial shipping practices and contracts.