With the USA extending the ban on Cruise ship industry till the end of September, seafarers, especially those working on cruise ships, are facing tremendous repercussions.
Pinoy seafarers employed in the cruise ship industry are now seeing bleak possibilities of re-employment in the sector as industry experts deem that normalcy in the cruise industry cannot be expected till the end of 2021.
On Friday, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, headed by Hand Cacdac, said that the industry will be ‘possibly shut’ for the next fiscal year.
It is highly unexpected that Filipino seafarers, who account for most of the crew onboard cruise ships, will get back their jobs by the end of 2021.
The ban on the cruise ship industry, due to the outbreak of coronavirus on various cruise ships, has made the cruise industry suffer it’s biggest economic setback since the 2008 financial crisis.
Jojo Sale, the Associated Marine Officers and Seafarers’ Union of the Philippines(AMOSUP) lawyer, said, “What many companies are doing right now is downsizing, cost-cutting.”
The cruise industry, in its normal working, has an estimated 53 billion USD contribution to the US economy. Most of the employees are often Filipinos, working in the engine, navigational, catering, and entertainment divisions onboard the ships.
One of the most hard-hit sectors due to the pandemic is the cruise industry. Industry leaders- Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian cruise lines, have suffered losses in billions in the last 30 days. Carnival alone has declared losses in and around $4.4 billion and is now resorting to selling off some of its biggest ships in an attempt to keep the company floating.