If Filipino seafarers stopped sailing right this second, world trade would crumble. Filipino crew make up the largest nationality bloc in the global maritime workforce—around 25-30 percent! The Philippines might not be a world power in the traditional sense, but the huge role it plays in international shipping is proof that the archipelago is influential in its own way.
Seafaring, the backbone of world trade
Around 90% of world trade is carried out at sea. It is the backbone of the global economy. Crew of Lydia Mar Manila are among the Filipino sailors who are moving essential goods around the world. They’ve been onboard vessels that have carried steel and hot rolled coils used for the construction of buildings and cities. Others have shipped gypsum—an essential ingredient to paper, toothpaste, and fertilizer. And many more are responsible for the transportation of countless raw materials and finished goods.
No Shipping No Shopping
During the pandemic #NoShippingNoShopping trended to remind people how important sea trade is to society. But a ship can’t sail without its crew. To fully recognize shipping, you also have to value the work of maritime professionals. This was largely forgotten during the height of COVID-19 when the crew change crisis exploded into a humanitarian emergency.
Filipino seafarers are recognized in their country every last Sunday of September—the official National Seafarers’ Day of the Philippines. September 25, 2022 is the 27th year of the event, which is then followed by the country’s National Maritime week to celebrate everything in the maritime industry. But this isn’t the only time of the year where seafarers take center center stage. The Philippines also observes the International Day of the Seafarer every June 25, as well as World Maritime day this coming September 29. Both dates are internationally recognized and headed by the IMO (International Maritime Organization).
Seafarers are Key Workers
Events like National Seafarers Day are important because they put back into our consciousness the seafarers who have been doing indispensable work for society. You almost never see these seafarers because they’re literally out of our sight, in the middle of the sea. But nearly every item in your home—and even the phone in your hand—made it to where it is now because a seafarer was likely there to ship those goods. They are key workers essential to everyday life. So thank you, seafarers, for a job well done.
The end of September is filled with various events related to maritime. Visit the social media pages below, as well as IMO’s official website for World Maritime Day on September 29 to find out what’s happening.
- Karapatan Symposium on September 28 – Information campaign against ambulance chasing
- National Maritime Week Celebration in Western Visayas
- IMO’s World Maritime Day on September 29
List of activities for the Philippines’ National Seafarers’ Day 2022