Conrad Manila Hotel, Pasay City
June 26, 2023

“For over a millennia, shipping and seafaring have aided the way we transport goods, people and ideas to distant shores… Now, we find ourselves at a turning point for this very crucial sector,” underscored President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., stressing how in recent years, the entire transport industry that includes shipping is undergoing huge transformation with the coming of new and sustainable fuels, and the increasing deployment of digitalization and automation.

Addressing the seafarers summit titled, ‘Shaping the Future of Shipping — Seafarer 2050 Summit’, the President emphasized the need for the shipping industry to adapt and integrate new developments into its fleets, such as retooling of existing ships, building of modern ships equipped with new technologies, and more importantly, investing in highly qualified and well-trained workforce that will build, maintain and man these shipping vessels.

The Philippines’ hosting of the Summit aims to shed light on the elements required for a successful transformation of seafarers’ roles to meet the needs of shipping in the future. It also tackles the risks to shipping and global trade inherent in industry transformation, as well as the measures to undertake in ensuring skilled seafarers are available in meeting the requirements of the industry by 2050.

“Here in the Philippines, we are proud of our maritime heritage. We are also proud of the title as the Seafaring Capital of the World with more than half a million Filipinos braving the vastness of the seas, comprising a quarter of the global maritime workforce,” the Chief Executive conveyed, expressing further the country’s appreciation to the contributions of all Filipino seafarers.

“I thus ensure everyone that this government will continue strengthening maritime-related policies and protecting our seafarers and their loved ones,” he said, reiterating his directive to the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) and Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to work closely with the shipping industry on the upskilling and reskilling of Filipino seafarers in preparation for the shift of ocean-going vessels from using the conventional fuel source to green ammonia between 2030 to 2040.

President Marcos Jr. called on all national government agencies, multi-lateral organizers and private stakeholders to work together in identifying strategies that would ensure the availability of skilled workers to fulfill the requirements of the shipping industry, which is expected to significantly increase by 2050.

“It is vital that we embark on long-term, tangible and sustainable effort that will address the many demands of the maritime sector in the years to come. I am confident that, with all of us working together, we will navigate the turbulent tides ahead and chart a course towards a stronger and sustainable tomorrow for seafarers and the global community,” he ended in his message.

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