FILIPINO SEAFARERS AND THEIR ATTITUDE TOWARDS CAREER DEVELOPMENT FACTORS

T. Oblepias, B. Almacen, L. Paderanga

Asian Institute of Maritime Studies (PHILIPPINES)
As a country, the Philippines is regarded as the largest provider of seafarers in the world’s market. Filipino seamen or seafarers are among the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who significantly contribute to the annual billions of dollar remittances to the country’s national coffer. However, the sad plights of these Filipino seafarers in terms of career growth and development appear to be neglected. Most of them started their career as ordinary seamen (OS) occupying the lowest level positions aboard the ship and sadly remain in those positions until their retirement. There is an imbalance between the supply of Filipino management level officers aboard international ships and those in the lower level positions such as operational and support levels. Very great majority of Filipino seafarers work aboardship as operational level officers and support level personnel. Some researchers attributed this situation to the rigid training and promotion requirements imposed by international employers. Other researchers established evidences pointing to the economic costs of pursuing career development. However, one factor that could affect career development of the Filipino seafarers is their own attitude towards it. The current research delved on the comparative analysis of the attitude of Filipino seafarers towards career development based on different job position levels aboard the ships. It specifically examined each group’s attitude towards factors such as; education, training, professional licensure examination requirements and work experience. Likewise, it delved on the relationship between attitude and the extent to which seafarers responded to environmental factors such as: physical, social and economic.

Using purposive and random sampling, a total of 43 crewing companies comprising 50% percent of companies operating in Metro Manila, Philippines were involved in the study. Seafarer respondents from these companies were 1,290 drawn from a quota of 30 seafarers per company. The job-position groups included the following: management level group , operational level group and the support level group. The main instrument used in the study was a self-constructed and validated written-survey. The measurement of response was based on five-point scale. Descriptive and inferential statistical tools were utilizad in the treatment of data. The null hypotheses were tested at 0.05 alpha level of significance. Results disclosed the similarity of attitude of each group towards,educational factors, training factors, and work experience factors, except for the licensure examination requirements. It also revealed the differences on the extent to which economic, social and physical environmental factors have contributed to the attitude of seafarers towards career development.