Thousands of jobs await Filipino fishermen in Taiwan, job recruitment industry officials reported yesterday.
Jackson Gan, president of the Pilipino Manpower Agencies Accredited to Taiwan (PILMAT), said Taiwan currently needs as many as 8,000 fishermen.
“Taiwan is looking to the Philippines to supply more Filipino fishermen to fill in its fishing fleet that grossed $2.9 billion last year,” Gan said.
Gan said the prevailing under-population in Taiwan has resulted in fewer fishermen joining fishing fleets.
Gan said China’s increasing number of fishing fleet has also led to severe lack of fishermen to man Taiwan’s fleets.
“This increasing number of Chinese fishing boats has decreased the number of mainland Chinese fishermen who used to crew Taiwan’s fishing fleets and is now hampering the operations of Taiwan’s own fishing industry due to the serious manpower shortage,” Gan added.
Although thousands of job openings are available for Filipino fishermen in Taiwan, Gan said government assistance is necessary to deploy them.
Gan said many Filipino fishermen lack the financial resources needed to comply with the documentary requirements like the passport, seaman’s book, medical fees and most importantly the SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea), an international maritime safety treaty.
Before deployment, a fisherman or seafarer, Gan said, must undergo a training programme for eight to 10 days costing from P4,000 to P8,000 in maritime training centers or schools.
“This is the requirement which many Filipino fishermen are unable to fulfill due to their lack of funds and sources to pay for this training,” Gan said.
He urged the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority to subsidise or come up with a cheaper training programme so local fishermen can apply for jobs abroad.