Singaporean seafarers to get more financial relief

Boats berthed at the Marina South Pier in Singapore in June 2020.
Boats berthed at the Marina South Pier in Singapore in June 2020.ST FILE PHOTO

SINGAPORE - Singaporean seafarers unable to secure shipboard employment can look forward to more financial support.

The Seafarers Relief Package (SRP), which provides up to $800 a month to eligible Singaporean seafarers, has been extended by three months. So the maximum payout is now six months.

The SRP was also only eligible for those who could not sign on ships from May 1 to July 31 this year. Now, the eligibility period is from May 1 to Dec 31 this year.

Announcing the extended aid, Mr Chee Hong Tat, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said: "Seafarers play a vital role in enabling global seaborne trade, and keeping the supply of critical goods flowing."

Speaking while at a visit to the Wavelink Maritime Institute on Friday (Oct 9), Mr Chee added: "We will also support seafarers to go for training and to upgrade their skills."

The SRP is provided by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), the Singapore Maritime Officers' Union (SMOU) and the Singapore Organisation of Seamen (SOS).

Applications for the SRP will remain open till March 31, 2021. Singaporeans who are active seafarers and who were recently deployed on board ships from Novermber 2019 can apply.

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.