Serving seafarers a primary concern for gov’t

On the occasion of Day of the Seafarer on 25 June, Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) Administrator Robert Empedrad reiterated the government will continue serving Filipino maritime professionals.,He assured seafarers the agency remains committed to provide selfless service and pilot programs for the maritime industry.,“We will serve you as well, sacrificially. Never again will you take courses that are not required by the Convention. Never again, will you go to the MARINA office and be treated with contempt. You will be treated with importance. Never again will MARINA get involved with fixers. We will, as long as I am your Administrator, make service our primary concern,” said Empedrad.,The United Nations (UN) has underlined its support for the men and women working at sea, whose immeasurable contributions help keep global trade moving.,UN Secretary-General António Guterres highlighted their critical role, as well as the challenges they face, in his message to mark Day of the Seafarer.,For its part, the International Maritime Organization (IMO), an umbrella organization of the UN, said it will continue to support seafarers during the pandemic by urging countries to designate them as key workers.,IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said without seafarers, there would be no shipping.,The theme for this year’s Day of the Seafarer celebrates maritime journeys and voyages, providing a chance “to recognize and pay tribute to seafarers everywhere, whatever their voyage,” he said. RAFFY AYENG