MARINA MISMO on e-Gov Super App
The MARINA Integrated Seafarers Management Online (MISMO) and MARINA Online Appointment System (MARINA OAS) will be included in the newly-launched e-Gov Super App.
The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) are collaborating on this.
The e-Gov Super App is a comprehensive platform that consolidates multiple government applications from partner organizations, providing the public with a convenient one-stop shop.
President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. said "Our government must keep up with that frantic pace and facilitate the rapid development of our interconnectivity infrastructure to allow our economy to ride the wave and open up an ocean of opportunities for prosperity."
The DOTr and DICT signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in April to improve infrastructure project and transportation program management through connectivity and integration with DICT systems.
Senate excludes escrow provision in Magna Carta of Seafarers
The Senate of the Philippines has excluded the Escrow provision in the proposed Magna Carta of Filipino Seafarers.
The Senate Bill 2221, an Act Providing for the Magna Carta of Filipino Seafarers was authored by Senator Raffy Tulfo, chairman of the Senate Committee on Migrant Workers, together with Senators Jinggoy Estrada, Juan Miguel Zubiri, Joel Villanueva, Risa Hontiveros, Edgardo Angara, Grace Poe, Win Gatchalian, Ramon Bong Revilla, Christopher Lawrence Go, Loren Legarda, Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, Mark Villar, Robinhood Padilla and Cynthia Villar.
The Senate Bill excluded Section 51 of the House Bill No. 7325 which was passed by the Lower House on March 6, eliciting differing opinions from stakeholders.
The specific section is as follows:
“Escrow as a Manner of Execution. – Any monetary award by the arbitrator to the seafarer, or the seafarer’s successors-in-interest, made whether in a voluntary or mandatory arbitration, or by the National Labor Relations Commission, shall be placed in escrow, if the employer or manning agency has raised or intends to raise the decision for judicial review in accordance with the Rules of Court. The amount in escrow shall not include claims for salaries, statutory monetary benefits, or those originally determined by the employer or manning agency to be legally due to the seafarer.
The amount shall remain in escrow until the issuance of an entry of judgment by the appropriate reviewing court or when the employer or manning agency fails to perfect the appeal or petition for review. The fees in obtaining or maintaining the escrow account shall be paid by the employer or the manning agency.
The interest earned by the amount in escrow shall inure to the benefit of the prevailing party. However, the seafarer or the seafarer’s successors-in-interest may, in accordance with the Rules of Court, move for the execution of the monetary award pending appeal upon posting of a bond, the amount of which shall be determined by the appropriate court.
The DMW shall issue the appropriate implementing guidelines for this section and Section 50 of this Act.”
Chinese fishing vessel capsized, 39 missing including Filipino crew
39 fishermen are missing, including 17 Chinese, 17 Indonesians and 5 Filipinos, after the Chinese flagged fishing vessel LU PENG YUAN YU 028 capsized in the Indian Ocean south of Maldives around 3 a.m. Beijing time, or same time in the Philippines.
The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) confirmed that there are 3 cargo vessels, 1 fishing boat and 3 aircrafts conducting the search and rescue operations in the area.
Rough weather condition is prevalent in the area of SAR operations.
PCG spokesperson Rear Adm. Armando Balilo said, "The PCG Command Center is monitoring the incident and coordinating with the PCG SAR teams near the last known location of the said Chinese fishing vessel for possible assistance.
The PCG is also closely coordinating with the Chinese Embassy regarding the maritime incident."
DOTR deactivates OSS crew change hubs
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has deactivated the country's twelve One-Stop Shop (OSS) crew change hubs at Manila, Currimao, Poro Point La Union, Subic, Capinpin in Orion, Bataan, Batangas, Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, Palawan, Zamboanga, and Cagayan de Oro.
The deactivation, according to a memorandum signed by Transportation Undersecretary for Maritime Elmer Francisco Sarmiento, was made due to a drop in COVID-19 cases in the Philippines and around the world.
Further, according to the memo, "there has been a significant decline in crew change operations in the country, due to high costs, limited designated crew change hubs, and the complexity of the OSS process." As a result, foreign vessels are discouraged from conducting crew change in the country.
It also stated that deactivating the OSS system is yet another effort to fully recover and reopen the economy. As a result, crew changes can be carried out throughout the country as they were before the COVID-19 pandemic.
The former administration established the OSS crew change hubs to improve the travel conditions of seafarers during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Maritime League launches BEACON
The Blue Economy Annual Trade and Conference (BEACON) 2023 was officially launched on March 28 onboard BRP Gabriela Silang at Pier 13, Manila South Harbor, in the presence of government officials, partners and maritime stakeholders.
DOTr USec for Maritime Affairs Elmer Sarmiento, Philippine Navy (PN) Flag Officer-in-Command VAdm. Toribio Adaci, Jr. and Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Commandant Admiral Artemio Abu graced the launching ceremonies.
BEACON is a joint project of the Maritime League and the Department of Transportation (DOTr) with the theme “Philippine Blue Economy: Insights and Foresights” that aims to advance the interests of the country’s maritime sector through information sharing, marine technology exhibits and active participation of various stakeholders including those from the government and the maritime industries.
The event will be held at the SMX Convention Center at the Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay City from September 6 to 8, 2023. The activity will include a static display of cutting-edge products and services from the domestic and international maritime sectors, as well as a three-day conference series with C-level speakers and participants from the maritime sector.
BEACON will kick off this year’s celebration of the Maritime and Archipelagic Nation Awareness Month (MANAMO), which was institutionalized by Presidential Proclamation 316 series of 2017.
Santos emphasized “This should be the start for us to get our acts together Maritime League launches BEACON working as one so that we’ll be able to face the challenges that will come in the future.”
Sarmiento hopes that “BEACON 2023 will result to heightened awareness of our responsibility to actively care for our marine resources.”
Abu anticipates seeing the discussions and learnings from BEACON “translated into action toward further economic growth, improved livelihood and healthy ocean ecosystem.”
Highlights of the program launch was the unveiling of the BEACON marker, the signing of the memorandum of agreement (MOA) between PCI Innovation Tech Center and Maritime League and the oathtaking of new members of the Maritime League.
After a press conference, visitors were given a tour of the BRP Gabriela Silang.
CEBU MARITIME EXPO
Cebu Maritime Expo-2023 (CME), the first of its kind in Visayas-Mindanao, was held successfully on April 13-15, 2023 at the Il Corso Lifemalls, South Reclamation Properties, Cebu City.
The event, hosted by the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SONAME), in strategic collaboration with the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) and organized with the assistance of Full-Force MarketStrat Gateway (FMG), showcased the various sectors of the maritime industry and demonstrated Cebu’s potential as a maritime hub.
With its tagline “Navigating toward maritime advancement,” the event, which drew thousands of visitors, provided a platform for showcasing innovative ideas, state-of-the-art designs, the latest launches and specialty services, as well as exploring investment opportunities, all under one roof.
CME featured more than 200 indoor and outdoor exhibitors converged around the entire 1,700sqm atrium of Il Corso Lifemalls, while the waterfront featured an array of vessels ranging from the dependable Philippine banca to functional boats to luxury yachts from the local industry and from shipbuilders from around the world.
The forums also served as an effective platform for in-depth discussions of maritime issues, with experts and pioneers, industry stakeholders, and decisionmakers all in attendance.
Mayor Mike Rama who envisions a “Singapore-like Cebu City” graced the opening ceremonies and boarded a speedboat.
MARINA Administrator Hernani Fabia underscored the importance of the island of Cebu and its neighboring islands to the country's development efforts.
"It has rich maritime resources and maritime capabilities, in terms of shipping, services, maritime education and training, shipbuilding and shiprepair, among others," Fabia said.
Another highlight of the event was the signing of a memorandum of understanding between MARINA and the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SONAME) to collaborate on technical assistance and training programs that promote environmental sustainability, safety, and security in the maritime industry, as well as the adoption of advanced technologies and best practices.
CME2023 is inevitably linked to Cebu’s roadmap initiative and bold vision for primacy in the maritime industry and beyond.
With easy access to an international audience, the CME which will become a yearly event, is projected to create economic benefits, promote interest and extra revenue, and further investing. Hence, CME has the potential to leverage momentum for long-term growth prospects.
Paliou and Jimenez: CONTINUING THE MISSION
Ms. Semiramis Paliou, Chairperson of the Hellenic Marine Environment Protection Association (HELMEPA), met with the new officers and Board members of the Philippine Marine Environment Protection Association (PHILMEPA) on February 10, at Diana Shipping's new office in Sage House, Makati City.
Paliou is the CEO of Diana Shipping, a Nasdaq-listed bulker owner, and she has over two decades of experience in maritime operations. Since March 2018, Ms. Paliou has been a member of the HELMEPA Board of Directors since March 2018, and has served as its Chairperson since June 2020. She is the Vice-Chairperson of the International Marine Environment Protection Association (INTERMEPA) as of June 2021.
Initiated in Piraeus on 4 June 1982, HELMEPA is the pioneering voluntary commitment of Greek seafarers and ship proprietors to protect the seas from ship-generated pollution. They have consistently supported their initiative under the slogan "To Save the Seas."
- Encourage Greek shipowning companies, operators, managers and agents wherever located, as well as masters, deck and engineer officers and seafarer members of the Panhellenic Seamens’ Federation to enlist in the Association as Members;
- Nurture a high level of environmental consciousness within the ranks of the Greek maritime community with the means of education, information, motivation and publicity;
- Cooperate with and assist the government of Greece on issues related to international laws and regulations designed for the protection of the marine environment and life at sea;
- Encourage the human element of the Greek maritime community to comply with national and international legislation designed for the prevention of marine pollution and help establish the spirit of safety onboard;
- Grant Membership to individuals in recognition of their voluntary commitment to pollution prevention and safety at sea; and
- Recognize achievements of individuals or corporate members of the Greek maritime community for exemplary performance in the fields of marine pollution prevention and safety.
The late Dante La Jimenez, a leader, educator, and innovator in the Philippine maritime industry, founded PHILMEPA.
On April 7, 1998, the association was registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). PHILMEPA creation was patterned after HELMEPA. Its goals include:
- To promote voluntary participation of all sectors of the community in the protection and preservation of marine environment from all sources of ship generated marine pollution and other sources of pollution;
- To conduct and sponsor seminars, symposia and technical training to be conducted by expert trainers and resource speakers;
- To promote and maintain peace and order as well as cleanliness in the community in coordination with proper government agencies;
- To act as intermediary with the different government agencies tasked with the delivery of basic necessities and services to the community concerned with the protections and preservation of marine environment;
- To seek assistance and guidance of government and private institutions necessary to achieve the full realization of the association's objectives;
- To organize and undertake livelihood projects and other socio-economic activities, for the benefit of its members;
- To do and perform all other acts and deeds as may be necessary, convenient and appropriate for the accomplishment of the foregoing purposes.
Board of Directors.
PHILMEPA's new Chairperson is Ms. Regina Eliza Jimenez, the late Commo's daughter.
Regina is immersed in the maritime industry and has a solid educational background in business management, marketing, and innovation.
She is the General Manager of Unlad Ship Manning and Management Corporation and
a member of the Board of Directors of Mariners Polytechnic College Inc (MPCI) Naga City and Globalmanpower Management & Development Corporation.
PHILMEPA's other executives and board members are:
Ms. Rochelle Reyes as President. She has an extensive global experience in crewing and is now serves as the Vice President of Crossworld Marine Services, Inc.
Atty. Erwin Lopez as Vice President. A Certified Public Accountant (CPA), he has a combined expertise in legal, finance and management.
Mr. Dann Diez as Secretary. A climate justice activist, he is the Founder and Executive Director of Sustainable Energy and Enterprise Development for Communities (SEED4COM).
Capt. Danilo Raz as Assistant Secretary. He is a master mariner who works as a technical consultant for several shipping firms.
Ms. Lyn Bacani, publisher of Marino World, was elected treasurer but resigned to make way for other maritime leaders while maintaining her neutrality.
HELMEPA has promoted and supported the creation of sister organizations such as NAMEPA in North America, CYMEPA in Cyprus, TURMEPA in Turkey, UKRMEPA in Ukraine, and PHILMEPA in the Philippines under its Founding Declaration of a voluntary commitment to “Save the Seas.”
Ms. Semiramis Paliou, chair of HELMEPA, expressed her appreciation for revitalizing PHILMEPA and reiterated her support for its future endeavors.
“It's an honor really to be meeting PHILMEPA and thank you very much for reenergizing PHILMEPA. It’s very important specially for us Greeks with a lot of Filipino seafarers on our ships.
“I'm trying to emphasize the necessity of protecting our seas and having our programs to educate them and provide the tools for our seafarers to gain the knowledge they need to protect the seas to make seafaring safer because we also emphasize on the safety of our ships,” she says.
The meeting paves the way for collaboration in carrying out the ONE mission of HELMEPA, PHILMEPA, and other MEPAs to safeguard the marine ecosystem for a sustainable future.
BSM Seafarers’ Wives Association participates in “Adopt a Ship” program
BSM’s Crew Service Centre Philippines with its passionate and enthusiastic officers and members of the BSM Seafarers’ Wives Association (SWA) gathered to officially kick start the “Adopt a Ship” program on 1 March 2023 at Chrysanthemum Village Elementary School in San Pedro Laguna. More than 100 students from grades 4, 5 and 6 levels were joined by their teachers at the school’s covered court to meet the project coordinators and spouses of the seafarers.
“Adopt A Ship” is a non-profit initiative which aims to promote seafaring profession and increase maritime awareness among elementary school students. With this program, members of the teaching community and students can be made aware of the vital role played by the industry in economic positioning and the professional opportunities available in the maritime industry.
Capt. Armando Santosidad, Director for Operations Department at BSM’s Crew Service Centre Philippines, trusts that the program will have a positive impact with the involvement of the seafarers’ wives who may be able to work with schools in their communities to expand the reach of the program.
As informed by the coordinator of “Adopt a Ship”, Bien Galapon, the program has been running successfully in the Philippines since 2017 and had reached approximately 12,000 children before the start of the pandemic.
The program includes:
- Participation of children in a "pre-test and survey"
- Participating seafarers sharing their experiences onboard through weekly email exchanges with the assigned teachers
- Three 2x3 meter world maps with sea lanes provided by BSM
In his brief speech, Galapon informed the kids that the seafarers operating the ships assist in the transport of approximately 90% of the world's goods, including gadgets, shoes, clothing, and kitchenware. He explained the significance of seafarers and the profession in international trade through various examples.
Inspiring the young minds
Capt. Santosidad shared details of his career as an inspiration for the students. As a young child, he wanted to be a doctor or lawyer to be able to help people, but his family could not afford it. He was then advised by someone that he could help his family and other people if he became a seafarer. As a result, he pursued a seafaring profession and, with hard work and perseverance, he rose to the rank of a Captain.
The highly inspired and motivated pupils applauded for Santosidad. He assured them that, should they decide to pursue a career as a seafarer in the future, BSM will support them in realising their goals through their Study Now, Pay Later program, and the scholarship grant which is run in conjunction with the International Maritime Employers’ Council (IMEC).
The proud wife of a BSM ship captain, Rose Agudo, advised the students to work very hard in their studies, and always pursue their goals. She asserted that it was crucial for children to identify their career goals early in life. Additionally, she reiterated that a seafarer’s work is extremely important.
Capt. Santosidad recognises “Adopt a Ship” as an opportunity to expand BSM’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs. He said, “Through this program, we would like to encourage the future generation of kids to join the seafaring profession. With active participation of the seafarers’ wives, we want to spread this initiative to more communities.”
Chrysanthemum Village Elementary School’s principal Raymond Gomez expressed optimism for a fruitful and meaningful collaboration with BSM for the overall benefit of their students.