PGMA inaugurates Luneta Seafarers' Center One-Stop Shop
Manila (20 September) -- In a move to ensure the protection of the country's seafaring employment industry, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo inaugurated today the two-storey Luneta Seafarers' Center One-Stop Shop that would facilitate the needs of Filipino seafarers.
From the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Headquarters in Mandaluyong City where she keynoted this morning the high-level dialogue on "Mobilizing Aid for Trade: Focusing on Asia and the Pacific," the President proceeded to Rizal Park in Manila to lead the ceremonial ribbon cutting to formally open the seafarers' One Stop Shop.
The President was welcomed by Luneta Seafarers' Welfare Foundation Chairman Don Ramon Bagatsing, Associated Marine Officers' and Seamen's Union of the Philippines President Gregorio Oca, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) Deputy Administrator Hans Cacdac, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Administrator Marianito Roque, Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) Administrator Vicente Suazon and Professional Regulation Commission Chairperson Leonor Trison-Rocero.
The President inspected the One-Stop Shop which houses the satellite offices of POEA, OWWA, MARINA and PRC and was given a briefing on the masterplan for the 2,516-square meter Luneta Seafarers' Center.
The Center has a dormitory for seafarers, first class sheds made of Dacron cloth, manning information booths and the One-Stop Shop.
The One-Stop Shop aims to facilitate the dissemination of information on the various concerns of manning agencies and the seafarers such as the processing of Overseas Employment Certificates, Seaman's Registration Certificates, approval of contracts, renewal and other concerns surrounding the procurement of a Seaman's Book, Qualification Documentation and Certification, among others.
Seafarers can also inquire on scholarship programs and livelihood development for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) at the One-Stop Shop.
The Philippines remains the biggest source of seafarers in the global market for almost three decades now. Demand for Filipino seafarers has been growing at the average rate of 10 percent every year in spite of competition posed by emerging sources of labor such as China, Ukraine, India and Greece.
Filipino seafarers contribute at least $300 million every year to the economy through their remittances to their families here. (PIA) [top]