The deployment of Filipino crew, which make up more than half of the world’s seafarers, has fallen dramatically due to the pandemic, according to official figures.

The setback comes in addition to recent indications that social security costs and the continued practice of excessive injury compensation claims are already pricing the country's seafarers out of the employment market.

The figures from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) show that total deployments for 2020 fell to 217,241 compared to 518,519 in the previous year.