THE Philippines is fast emerging as a major hub of crew changes in Asia for international vessels, according to the Bureau of Immigration.
BI Bay Service section chief Alnazib Decampong said they have processed a total of 112,220 seafarers who joined or left their vessels in 2020. Of these, 92,931 were Filipino seamen while 19,289 came from other countries.
“Crew changes are vital to the international maritime industry as if affords sea vessels the opportunity to refresh their manpower. This is especially vital today amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” Decampong said.
Last July, the country opened a “green lane” for seafarers to facilitate the seamless movement and travel of seafarers in Asia.