TACLOBAN CITY – An official of the National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP) said that Filipino seafarers need to upgrade their skills in automation to cope up with the emerging trend in the international maritime industry as more European shipping companies are shifting to automation.

Mayla Macadawan, NMP officer-in-charge, said that there are ongoing efforts to revise the NMP’s standards of training, certification, and watchkeeping (STCW) to adapt to the emerging global technologies.

NMP is a government-run maritime training center based here in the city that provides to its stakeholders, particularly seafarers, quality training and assessment to upgrade the country’s maritime manpower resources through upgrading and specialization programs and research and studies on the latest maritime technologies that are needed of the maritime industry.

“Ang IMO, in fact, mayroon na silang ginagawang revision para sa STCW. So ang STCW amendments accordingly will address the technological advancement of the shipping industry. Hopefully, and NMP o ang Philippines ay magkakaroon ng paradigm shift para maaddress yung mga kaukulang na training needs in terms of usage of technology,” Macadawan said.

“Kasi ang pino-propose ngayon at ginagamit na sa mga internal waters of Denmark and Norway is automation. So ang automation means use of technology and if mayroong automation there is a probability na magkaroon ng decline ang needs ng seafarers,” she added.

Still, despite of this, Filipino seafarers remain to be the most in demand abroad, the NMP official stressed.

The official added that all government agencies must work in synergy to address the trend of automation.

If this will not be address, this may result to the decline on the demand of Filipino seafarers that could impact the country’s economy.

Last year, remittances from seafarers was reported at $ 6.54 billion.

The country’s main competitors in seafaring industry are China, Russia, and Ukraine.