Maritime manning agency opens in Cebu-A A +A
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
WITH a big population of maritime graduates in Cebu, a manning agency based in Metro Manila opened an office in Cebu to bring more job opportunities closer to graduates and jobseekers.
Last Tuesday, Crossworld Marine Services Inc. opened a more than a hundred square-meter office in JESA IT Building on General Maxilom Ave. Along with its grand opening, the agency also brought over a hundred job vacancies for immediate hiring of seafarers.
“This time they (jobseekers) don’t have to go to Manila to look for work. If there will be vacancies in Manila, they (Cebuanos) will know” said Crossworld president and chief executive officer Capt. Eleazar G. Diaz.
He said majority of the 400 manning agencies specializing in maritime employment are concentrated in Manila. To expand its service and serve more seafarers, the 10-year old company opened an office in Iloilo three years ago.
“I see a convergence, a very concentrated population of seafarers in Cebu,” Diaz said when asked why they chose to expand in Cebu.
University of Cebu and Southwestern University are two of the schools in Cebu offering a four-year course in marine transportation and engineering.
Every year, Philippine colleges and universities produce on average of 40,000 graduates of maritime courses from 90 colleges and universities nationwide.
Diaz said, however, that not all of the graduates will find work after finishing college despite the high global demand for maritime workers.
“There is shortage in the senior levels (chief engineer, master captain, second engineer, chief officer). There is a worldwide shortage (because) we are not producing as many as the demand and it takes so much time to reach those ranks,” Diaz said.
Seafarers are among the highest paying overseas Filipino workers. On average, Diaz said, they earn $2,000 in a month while top level officers earn as much as $10,000 every month.
Filipino seafarers also make up a big part of the world’s seafarer population. It was in the late 1970s when they started to penetrate the industry.
“Thirty to 35 percent of the world’s merchant marines or one out of five seafarers in the world today are Filipinos,” he said. Following them are Chinese and Indians.
As of January to June this year, Crossworld deployed 4,500 seafarers in various international vessels. Most of them are centerd in Europe.
Diaz also expressed interest in expanding in Mindanao, but said the company has no immediate plans yet for further expansions.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 17, 2014.