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  • Writer's pictureMelo Acuna

Bright prospects for COVID-19 recovered seafarers per DOLE's Sec. Bello and shipping official

COVID-19 recovered seafarers still employable, says DOLE Secretary and shipping executive

MANILA – Filipino seafarers are sought after by foreign employers. This was the statement of Labor Secretary Silvestre S. Bello III during the regular Malacañang Press Briefing at midday today.

“It is high time that we Filipinos realize that our seafarers are the most preferred seafarers in the world,” said Labor Secretary Bello when asked of the chances of seafarers who recovered from COVID-19 of getting new contracts and board international shipping lines all over again.

He said foreign principals or employers are interested in getting Filipino crewmen.

Secretary Bello allayed fears seafarers who fully recovered from COVID-19 will no longer be employed.

“They still have the chance to be hired. I thank Secretary (Carlito) Galvez for thinking of a process for our OFWs to receive one dose vaccines which will facilitate their deployment,” he said.

The Labor and Employment executive said employers “run after our seafarers, just like our nurses as Germany still has a pending request for 15,000 nurses.”

“Seafarers need not worry of their employability with their high upskilling levels they will surely have changes of getting employed,” he concluded.

Capt. Eduardo Flores, Eastern Mediterranean Maritime Limited Manila Representative of Athens-based maritime company, said they have strict quarantine measures for outbound seafarers where they are subjected to RT-PCR tests.

“Those who are found COVID-19 positive are prevented from leaving the country until they test negative,” he said. He added seafarers who have recovered from COVID-19 are still allowed to board ships as long as they test negative of the disease prior to their departure.

There are some 20 to 30,000 seafarers leaving the country every month for employment abroad. (Melo M. Acuña)

Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III. (Screen grab from Malacañang Press Briefing/PCOO/PTV4June 3,2021/Melo M. Acuna)

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