We have so many talented seafarers, but it’s ironic that our ships are aging.
On this note, Sen. Panfilo “Ping” M. Lacson said he would offer assistance to Filipino seafarers and the local shipping industry in making sure their vessels are seaworthy and not outdated.
Lacson, who is running for President under Partido Reporma, also said he will streamline the functions of agencies involved in maritime affairs to further help the industry.
“I think it’s ironic… While we enjoy the headway in terms of seafaring, ang ating facilities like ships, may edad na (our facilities like ships are aging). I think we should work along the line of offering some financial package or assistance to our shipping industry,” Lacson said at a virtual forum with representatives of the shipping industry Thursday.
He said this will make sure the country does not waste the talents of Filipino seafarers, who are regarded as among the best in the world and hold mostly technical and managerial posts.
Lacson noted that while the average age of ships in our neighbors in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) is eight years old, the average age of those in the Philippines is a whopping 25 years old.
Meanwhile, Lacson said proposals to create new departments such as those on maritime affairs will need at least further study.
Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, Lacson’s running mate and running for Vice President under the Nationalist People’s Coalition, stressed the need to right-size the bureaucracy instead of potentially bloating it.
“I think we should think of streamlining the functions of different agencies,” Lacson said.