Filipino seamen have been acknowledged as one of the Philippines’ economic drivers, sending billions of dollars home and helping improve the country’s economic growth. In 2018, Filipino seafarers sent the country about USD6bn in remittances, according to data.
While international shipping firms have employed seamen from Vietnam, Myanmar, and China in recent years, the Philippines continues to be one of the leading producers of the said workforce, with about 400,000 of the global 1.6 million seafarer population composed of Filipinos. These Filipino workers have driven the global shipping industry for decades, helping move 90% of global trade.
Though the seamen’s risky jobs at sea prevent them from seeing their families for months, colleges and employment agencies in the country continue to expand to cater to those seeking employment in international shipping firms in the hope of earning wages which are ten times the amount they earn at home.