VAdm. Santos is one of the guests at the opening ceremony yesterday for the National Maritime Week 2020 held via zoom.
In his brief message, he acknowledged albeit tacitly the fact that the country failed to deploy Filipino seafarers overseas at the height of the pandemic.
“The Indians and Eastern Europeans they can move freely in and out of their countries and report to their shipping companies. Because of this, many of our jobs onboard international ships have been taken over by these nationalities.
“So we have to get those jobs back and we have to exert efforts to get them back,” VAdm. Santos emphatically declared.
Nevertheless, he sounded confident that, in due time, the country would be able to regain the seafarers’ jobs lost during the pandemic. He added: “Together we hope to to do this with (the help of MARINA, schools, manning agencies and shipmanagement companies here with us.”
In his message also recalled that in the last 20 years AMOSUP had kicked off the celebration of maritime week by holding a thanksgiving mass and a wreath laying ceremony to honor departed seafarers at Baywalk on Roxas Blvd.
“Now we offered prayers not only for those departed seafarers but also for those who are suffering for more than a year of continuous duty onboard the ships and, of course, to all those waiting here now to be deployed.
“I know the anxiety and the stress of our seafarers who were not able to leave or waiting for their deployment,” the AMOSUP official said.
He also thanked the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) for extending the validity of seafarers’ certificates and SIRBs as well as expressed appreciation to other government agencies and Maritime Leagues members for continue moving on in spite of the pandemic.