Seafarers may now avail of fare discounts while boarding on passenger vessels plying domestic routes, with some operators offering 100% off!
On Wednesday, September 7, the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) together with all Regional Offices held a virtual simultaneous Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signing on Fare Discount for Seafarers on-board Domestic Passenger Ships.
A total of 45 ship operators with their various vessels and routes have participated in the initiative, which has the main purpose of paying tribute to the Filipino seafarers in recognition of their valuable contributions to the Philippine and global economy.
In her welcoming remarks, MARINA Deputy Administrator for Operations Engr. Nannette Villamor-Dinopol stated that the fare discount for seafarers, once a vision, is now a reality with the help and support from shipping operators.
“Of course, all good concepts and efforts of MARINA can never be realized without the concurrence and full support of our shipping operators, who despite being heavily affected by the pandemic, still managed willingly to participate in this noble project to recognize our Filipino seafarers. This concerted effort between the Administration and the industry made this vision possible, and once again illustrates that when the government and the public sector come together great things can happen,” Engr. Dinopol said.
For his part, Associated Marine Officers and Seafarers’ Union of the Philippines (AMOSUP) Dr. Conrado Oca expressed appreciation to the MARINA, as well as all the domestic shipping operators, for this initiative as this will stand as significant token of appreciation for the work seafarers have been doing as key workers performing essential services, not only for the benefit of the Philippine economy, but also for sustaining the global economy.
MARINA Franchising Service Director Atty. Maximo Bañares Jr., on the other hand, mentioned that the MROs have provided significant contributions to make this effort happen. “With the help of our active MROs, there are currently 45 participating operators scattered all over our regional offices in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. The MOA gives fare discounts to Filipino seafarers ranging from 10 to 100%. That means, anywhere in the Philippines, our seafarers would have the privilege to avail fare discounts whenever they use the passenger ships of participating operators.”
Finally, MARINA Administrator Vice Admiral Robert A Empedrad AFP (Ret) stated that the Agency, through each team and personnel, is continuously doing all the efforts – working and exploring possibilities in order to give back and honor our beloved seafarers.
“Last year, we declared our seafarers as key workers. We consider them our modern day heroes. And what better way to show to them our honor is also to come up with programs to alleviate their sufferings when they are deployed in various ships all over the country and all over the world. As part of our initiatives, the MARINA has extended assistance to our seafarers, such as facilitating their movement, extension of certificates, coming up with programs to ensure that they will continue to make themselves competent even though we have a pandemic. Lahat yan pinagtulong-tulungan ng 815 personnel of the MARINA to ensure that seafarers are given the honor and the service that they want us to provide them,” Administrator Empedrad said.
In Iloilo City, the MARINA Region VI headed by Regional Director Felisa N. Orongan welcomed two (2) shipping operators who answered the call to provide passage fare discount for seafarers who will be boarding their vessels.
Milagrosa-J Shipping Corp. represented by their President, Mary Louella Catherine J. Lucero and F.F. Cruz Shipping represented by their General Manager, Mr. Rassel E. Baylen were present during the ground-breaking activity to personally sign the MOA. The said MOA was already signed by Administrator VADM Robert A. Empedrad.
Milagrosa Shipping will be granting a ten percent (10%) discount and F.F. Cruz Shipping shall be granting a twenty (20%) discount to seafarers availing of their services, as a passenger, to any of their passenger vessels. The seafarer only needs to present a valid Seafarer’s Identity Document (SID), original Seafarer’s Record Book (SRB), or a valid MARINA issued license.
Here’s the complete list of 45 participating ship operators, vessels, routes and corresponding discounts:
MARINA continues to be grateful for all its public and private maritime industry stakeholders who continuously participate in activities like this that not only aims to recognize Filipino #SeafarersAreKeyWorkers but also aims to provide a #FairFuture4Seafarers.