Taiwan needs Filipinos to man fishing fleets
Taiwan’s fishing industry is short 8,000 fishermen and labor recruiters are asking the Philippines for help in filling the need.
The Pilipino Manpower Agencies Accredited to Taiwan (Pilmat) said there were many Filipino fishermen who wanted to apply but they could not afford the training and other requirements for deployment.
“The Philippines has traditionally supplied fishermen to Taiwan. However, many of our fishermen lack the financial resources to comply with the requirements like passports, seaman’s book, medical fees and, most importantly, the Safety of Life at Sea (Solas) certificate which is required under an international maritime safety treaty,” Pilmat president Jackson Gan said in a statement.
Solas certification involves an obligatory training program lasting up to 10 days and costing up to P8,000 in private maritime training schools. The Solas is required before a sea-based Filipino worker can be issued a seaman’s book by the Marine Industry Authority.
Gan suggested the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) subsidize or come up with a cheaper Solas program.
A fisherman in Taiwan earns about US$500 (P21,000) a month.
“If the country wants jobs generation, Tesda should come up with a subsidy program for Solas training that will enable Filipino fishermen to take advantage of the serious lack of manpower resources in Taiwan fishing fleets,” he said. Jerome Aning