THE Associated Marine Officers’ and Seamen’s Union of the Philippines (AMOSUP) announced that it has expanded its “Slop Chest,” a grocery store and appliance purchase program for union member seafarers and their families, to provide more items, the union said this week.
A “slop chest” in maritime parlance is a stock of basic goods carried on board ships for purchase by sailors, with the items charged against their pay. AMOSUP members or their family members can shop in the union’s store on a credit basis, with the available credit line depending on the member’s rank.
In addition to the grocery store, the program includes an affiliate program with appliance retailers so that members may purchase basic home appliances, furniture, or gadgets on credit.
AMOSUP explained that the store expansion, which increased the number of products the store can stock by 30 to 40 percent, was made necessary by the frequent shortages of many basic goods requested by members, including staple items such as coffee, milk, sardines, and biscuits.
The expansion also made it more convenient to stock larger items such as rice in sacks, the union said.
AMOSUP said 15 to 20 customers per day use the store, accounting for an average of P1.7 million in monthly sales. Through the first three quarters of 2016, the Slop Chest has served 9,312 members and employees of the union, accounting for P10.24 million in groceries and P5.7 million in appliances.
The shopping privileges for groceries are available for AMOSUP members from the seafarer’s date of embarkation up to two months before the date when his or her contract ends, and the amount of purchases are deducted from the seafarer’s payroll.
For appliances, furniture, and gadgets such as cellphones and computers, the credit can be used up to six months from the member’s date of embarkation in accredited stores in which AMOSUP has standing credit arrangements, the union explained.
Abenson’s and Electroworld are part of AMOSUP’s affiliate program, and the union recently added Western Marketing Appliances Corporation in response to high demand for the program.
“Just like in other existing affiliate stores, Western Marketing also offers exciting promos and discounts for members and allottees to experience much better Slop Chest appliance purchase privileges,” AMOSUP said.
Credit limits for union members and their dependents are set at P6,000 for groceries and P36,000 for appliances for officers; P5,000 for groceries and P30,000 for appliances for petty officers; and P4,000 for groceries and P24,000 for appliances for ratings.
AMOSUP Slop Chest stores are located at the AMOSUP Seamen’s Center Annex in Intramuros, Manila and in Mandaue City, Cebu.