With the Filipino seafarers raking in more than $3.8 billion in revenue for the country in 2010 and more this year, the threats of piracy need urgent interventions from stakeholders, Maritime Industry Authority Western Visayas regional director Mary Ann Armi Arcilla said in a government press release.
The Philippines providing 25 percent of seafarers in the world, their vulnerability to piracy is also high, the press release said.
Arcilla led the other maritime agencies and institutions during the opening ceremonies of the National Maritime Week Celebration in Iloilo City, September 26-30.
MARINA Director of Domestic Shipping Office and Chairperson of the National Maritime Week Celebration, Arleen Romero said piracy is the “modern day scourge” of the sea which calls all shipping institutions and companies to strictly comply with their security plans and that of the International Maritime Organization.
“Our shipping companies should share the best management practises they employ in case of piracy attacks,” Romero, who was guest speaker of the event, said.
Meanwhile, Commodore Athelo Ybañez of the Philippine Coast Guard, said that for the last few years, there were already 5,000 ships worldwide attacked by pirates and more than 1,000 seafarers, including Filipinos, have been taken as hostages, or used as human shields against rescuing government and military forces.
Ybañez said the Philippine Coastguard, together with other maritime groups in the world, are urging the application of best management practices to deter piratical acts, the sharing of intelligence reports by monitoring agencies, and the strengthening of states to combat piracy and bring to justice the perpetrators, the press release added.*