Press Release
June 26, 2021

Villars host vaccination of Pinoy seafarers

Senator Cynthia A. Villar and daughter Las Pinas Rep. Camille Villar yesterday served as among the hosts in the nationwide vaccination of Filipino seafarers who were hardest hit by the pandemic.

The inoculation of around 1,086 seafarers was conducted at the family-owned The Tent South Global City in Las Pinas.

Through the Office of Sen. Villar, The Tent was chosen by Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) as one of the sites in the simultaneous nationwide vaccination of seafarers.

Once fully vaccinated, Sen. Villar said our seafarers can go back to their job which was disrupted due to the corona virus.

"Being protected against the virus, they can return to their ships and voyage and earn a living for their families. They are also protecting their families from potential infection in the process," said Sen. Villar as she lauded Filipino seafarers on the 11th Anniversary of the Day of the Seafarer.

"We note with pride how much the Filipino seafarer is valued by shipowners around the world. We thank our manning agencies and ship owners who continue to look after our seafarers especially those in ships that are affected by the global pandemic. Please continue to uphold the best global standards of care and compassion for our OFWs," Sen. Villar said.

She recognized Filipino seafarer and their families for their contribution to the Philippine economy amid the worst global pandemic to hit the country resulting in massive dislocation of local workers and closures of business establishments.

In 2019, Filipino seafarers remitted US$6.5 million to the country. With the pandemic, government data showed a slight drop in remittances from overseas Filipino workers but not as steep as expected since OFWs continue to send more to their families.

Amid the global health crisis, the country's maritime sector continued to deploy Filipino seafarers who remain in great demand for their skills and hard work. The Bureau of Immigration reported that it processed and cleared more than 112,000 seafarers who joined or left their ships last year.

"We are happy to note the continued recovery of the seafaring sector; thanks to the partnership between and among our foreign ship owners, manning agencies, and government agencies such as the POEA and MARINA," she said.

The lady senator noted the continued supply of Filipino seafarers to the world keeps global trade going. "The global economy is sustained by the courage and hard work of our seafarers and we should always remember and recognize the enormous contributions of our modern-day heroes amid a global pandemic."

She emphasized that the vaccination program for seafarers will ensure that our role as the world's leading provider of the best seafarers shall remain, much to the relief of our global trade partners. The Department of Transportation said Filipino seafarers comprise 25% of the 1.5 million seafarers in the world.

The United Nations, upon the recommendation of the International Maritime Organization, recognizes the contribution of seafarers by declaring June 25 of each year as the Day of the Seafarer. The celebration was proposed during the Diplomatic Conference of Parties to Adopt Amendments to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) hosted by the Philippines in June 2010.

Meanwhile, Sen. Villar and Rep. Villar, said their family have launched many initiatives to help the government accelerate its vaccination program since its roll out last March.

Acknowledging the collaborative efforts to fight the virus, Sen. Villar said they have been providing the government all forms of assistance to combat this pandemic and to return to help in the country's economic recovery.

The IATF, through the Department of Health (DOH), gave to Marina the United States-made Pfizer-BioNTech jabs administered to seafarers to be deployed abroad since it is the required brand in their destinations.

With the approval of Sen. Villar, Las Pinas General Hospital and Satellite Trauma Center (LPGHSTC) medical director Dr. Rodrigo Hao said domestic seafarers were given Sinovac-CoronaVac vaccine which came from said hospital.

Majority of the vacines at The Tent were Las Piñeros and Caviteños who failed to get their jabs during the vaccination in Manila and Taguig. Walk-ins coming from all over the metropolis were also vaccinated.

The vaccination of the Filipino seafares was done in 13 regions across the country in celebration of the 25th Founding Anniversary of Associated Marine Officers' and Seamen's Union of the Philippines (AMOSUP).###

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