The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) on Friday (9 October) in a joint statement with the Singapore Maritime Officers’ Union (SMOU) and the Singapore Organisation of Seamen (SOS) said they have extended financial support for Singaporean seafarers under the Seafarers Relief Package (SRP) by another three months, i.e. from a cap of three months (up to $2400) to six months (up to $4800).
Singaporean seafarers who are unable to secure shipboard employment between 1 May 2020 and 31 December 2020 are eligible for the SRP, said the MPA. Previously, the eligibility period for the SRP covered 1 May 2020 to 31 July 2020.
MPA noted that Chee Hong Tat, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, visited the Wavelink Maritime Institute to observe a training session for Tripartite Nautical Training Award (TNTA) and Tripartite Engineering Training Award (TETA) cadets.
Cadet trainees under the TNTA and TETA place-and-train programmes, together with other qualifying seafarers, have benefitted from the SRP as their shipboard attachments or employment were affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
“Seafarers play a vital role in enabling global seaborne trade, and keeping the supply of critical goods flowing. To enhance our safety net for Singaporean seafarers, we will extend the Seafarers Relief Package to provide more help to those whose jobs are affected by COVID-19. We will also support seafarers to go for training and to upgrade their skills,” said Senior Minister Chee.
“Despite the unprecedented challenges brought about by the pandemic, seafarers continue to play an essential role in keeping the global supply chain moving. While tripartite partners continue to accelerate efforts to facilitate crew change at the Singapore port, we also want to continue to offer assistance to our Singaporean seafarers who have been affected and are unable to sign on ships during this challenging time,” said Mary Liew, General Secretary, SMOU.
“SOS strongly supports the extension of SRP amidst the ongoing challenges faced by Singaporean seafarers and their dependents. We understand their concerns and we want to be there for them as much as we can during this difficult phase of their seafaring career,” said Kam Soon Huat, President, SOS.
MPA explained that the SRP is part of the MaritimeSG Together Package, which was introduced in April 2020 to provide support to the maritime industry in the wake of the global COVID-19 outbreak.
More details on the package are available in the Annex.
Related: Singapore: MPA partners SOS to provide additional monetary assistance to local seafarers
Related: Singapore: MPA releases details of SGD 27 million support package for maritime industry
Related: Singapore: MPA announces SGD 27 million support package for maritime industry
Photo credit: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore
Published: 16 October, 2020
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