ILOILO CITY: Senate President Franklin M. Drilon is pushing to further develop the skills of Filipino workers and to upgrade the ship building industry in the country.
He said that Filipino naval architects and maritime professionals will be more in demand with the upcoming economic integration of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) where there is an expected rise in cargo and shipping activities.
“There is a need to profes-sionalize and modernize the capability of the seafarers and shipbuilders in order to strengthen and boost the competitiveness of the Filipino workforce,” Drilon said, adding that this could be accomplished through legislation.
Senate Bill No. 2482, authored by Drilon, seeks to modernize the practice of naval architecture and marine engineering by updating and incorporating innovations to the existing law in line with the latest international practices and standards.
The Senate leader said it is important that this area of profession be updated to modern standards given that the country’s ship building and repair industry is starting to be recognized by other countries.
Drilon also noted that nearly one-third of the world’s 1.5 million seafarers are Filipinos which helped fuel the economy with US$5.2 billion in remittance in 2013.