The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), the Singapore Maritime Officers’ Union (SMOU) and the Singapore Organisation of Seamen (SOS) 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. Previously, the eligibility period for the SRP covered 1 May 2020 to 31 July 2020. Please refer to Annex for details.
This afternoon, Mr 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 Mr Chee.
Ms Mary Liew, SMOU’s General Secretary, said, “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. We hope that the extension of the Seafarers Relief Package will lighten the financial burden of our seafarers and their families.”
Mr Kam Soon Huat, SOS’s President, added, “SOS strongly supports the extension of SRP amidst the ongoing challenges faced by Singaporean seafarers and their dependants. 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.”
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.