MANILA, April 7 (Xinhua) -- Overseas Filipino sailors sent home a total of 533 million U.S. dollars in cash via the banking system in January this year, up 12.7 percent from 473 million U.S. dollars in January 2018, the party-list group representing the overseas Filipino workers said on Sunday.
Over 400,000 Filipino sailors serve on bulk carriers, container ships, oil, gas, chemical and other product tankers, general cargo ships, pure car carriers, cruise ships and tugboats around the world.
They wired home a total of 6.14 billion U.S. dollars through bank channels in the whole of 2018, up 4.5 percent from 5.87 billion U.S. dollars in 2017.
Aniceto Bertiz of the ACTS-OFW representative in the House of Representatives expressed "guarded optimism" about potential increases in the cash transfers from Filipino sailors in the months ahead.
"As long as we keep on complying with global training and certification standards for sailors, the job prospects of Philippine-educated ship officers should remain bright," Bertiz said.
The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) earlier issued a statement which underscored that the Philippines remains in the "White List" of nations deemed fully compliant with the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW).
MARINA also vowed to keep the country in the "White List" of the International Maritime Organization (IMO). Continued inclusion in the list means that all IMO member countries should accept as valid the certificates possessed by Filipino sailors and issued by Philippine authorities.