The Seafarers Upgrading Program of the Overseas Workers Welfare Association has benefited 145 seafarers from Western Visayas since January this year, regional director Samuel Madrid said.
SUP helps seafarers upgrade their skills in accordance with technological advancements and international maritime standards. It provides OWWA seafarer-members related training in priority maritime courses identified by the Maritime Training Council.
The program is open to all seafarers who are members of the OWWA. Beneficiaries under the SUP receive from OWWA financial assistance for training costs. First availment consists of P7,500 training assistance. Seafarers could avail another training course every after three recorded membership.
The duration of the training vary depending on the position of the trainee. The maximum duration of the training for higher positions is two months.
Madrid said that 578 seafarers were assisted by the program in 2011.
Western Visayas has the largest number of seafarers in the country, representing around 40 percent of 172,000 active members registered with OWWA 6.*PNA