Senate and House reach 'agreement in principle' to remove the escrow provision from the Magna Carta of Seafarers
The Senate and the House of Representatives have reached an “agreement in principle” today to remove the escrow provision from the proposed Magna Carta of Filipino Seafarers.
The two chambers held a Bicameral Conference Committee session to reconcile conflicting provisions, including the “escrow provision.”
Constituting the Bicameral Conference Committee for the Magna Carta of Filipino Seafarers are Senators Raffy Tulfo, Joel Villanueva, Francis Escudero, Imee Marcos, and Risa Hontiveros; and Representatives Ron Salo, Marissa Magsino, Sandro Gonzalez, Khymer Adan Olaso, and Marlyn Primicias-Agabas.
"The reconciled version of the bill is yet to be written and printed in its enrolled form," a source in the Lower House said.
According to the Lower House proposed escrow provision but repealed by the Senate, the contested amounts or discretionary awards such as awards of moral or exemplary damages, shall be held in escrow while the case is under judicial review.
The Conference committee will submit the report on the reconciled version of the bill for ratification by both chambers anytime next week.”
The duly approved reconciled bill will be submitted to Malacañang for the President’s signature.
Read related story: Advancing the Magna Carta of Filipino Seafarers
PH forms delegation for release of Filipino seafarers abducted by Houthi rebels
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. announced that the government is forming a delegation to assist in the negotiations for the release of 17 Filipino seafarers who were aboard an Israeli-linked cargo ship seized by Houthi rebels in the Red Sea.
In a short video message, President Marcos apologized to the Filipino community in the United Arab Emirates after he cancelled his trip to Dubai to personally address crucial developments in the case of the abducted Filipino seafarers.
“Alam naman ninyo may mga bagay na kailangan agad na asikasuhin, President Marcos stated. "Isa na dun ‘yung ating mga kababayan, mga kapwa Pilipino natin na na-hostage, 17 sila na na-hostage at ginagawa natin lahat ng paraan upang sila ay maiuwi na.”
“Kaya’t binubuo natin ang isang delegasyon para pumunta sa kanila at makipag-usap dun sa mga may hawak sa kanila para makauwi na sila. Kaya’t, siguro naman maunawaan ninyo, na inuna muna natin ‘yan dahil kailangan nating tiyakin ang syempre ang seguridad ng ating mga kababayan,” he continued.
The Galaxy Leader is an NYK-chartered pure car and truck carrier (PCTC) owned by Israeli billionaire Abraham "Rami" Ungar, that was intercepted on November 19 in Hodeida, Yemen, while en route to the port of Pipavav, India.
The ship’s Japanese operator, NYK Line, said that no cargo was aboard at the time of the hijacking. Its crewmembers are from the Philippines, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine and Mexico.
Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) OIC Hans Leo Cacdac stated they are working with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), as well as officials from the vessel's registered shipping and manning agency, to monitor the safety and well-being of the 17 Filipino seafarers and safely bring them home.
DMW has communicated with and assured all the families of the seafarers of its’ full support and assistance.
Earlier, Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Eduardo de Vega cited the ongoing diplomatic efforts of several countries to facilitate the safe release of the hostages.
De Vega said they are exhausting all efforts to ensure the release of the Filipinos seized by the Yemeni rebels in the Red Sea.
“We’re using diplomatic [means] with various countries… there is no issue of paying ransom – this is a political gesture; it’s not the first time they’ve done it. In previous occasions, our seamen have always eventually been released so we’re confident about this. It’s only a matter of time,” De Vega explained.
“Now, we see that their real purpose they said is to indicate their support for the Palestinians. Their message to all countries is that we should be opposing the Israeli actions in Gaza.”
De Vega linked the issue to the initial release of hostages by the Hamas group in Gaza, describing it as breakthrough, as he expressed elation on President Ferdinand R. Marcos’ announcement of the release of a Filipino by the Gaza militants.
According to him, the release of Filipino Jimmy Pacheco, who was among the initial batch of Gaza hostages, was also made possible by the foreign affairs department's diplomatic representations with various governments.
MARINA ON EMSA & IMSAS
ATTY. Hernani Fabia, Administrator of the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), reaffirmed the country’s commitment to continue implementing corrective actions to maintain the quality of the Philippines’ maritime education, training, and certification systems.
Fabia delivered the remarks as the invited speaker at the Joint Maritime Committee (JMC) meeting that took place at the German Club Manila in Makati City on September 28.
In attendance were members of the JMC, including the Dutch Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines (DCCP), the German-Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GPCCI), the Nordic Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines (NordCham), and the Philippines Norway Business Council (PNBC), as well as German Ambassador to the Phil Andreas Pfaffernoschke.
The “European Commission (EU) is currently preparing the arrangements for the implementation of the 4-million euro technical assistance to aid the Philippines in improving our compliance with the STCW Convention and the Maritime Labor Convention,” Fabia said. The technical assistance will commence by the last quarter of 2024 and will be delivered until 2027.”
Fabia met with Ms. Fotini Ioannidou, Head of the Maritime Safety Unit and Deputy Director Waterborne Transport in the Directorate General for Mobility and Transport of the European Commission, and discussed the details of the DG-MOVE delegation’s upcoming visit of the to the Philippines in November to finalize the Terms of Reference for the technical assistance.
“The technical assistance is a testament to the strong support of the EU to the Philippines as a leading supplier of seafarers to the European fleet. It also represents the strong collaboration between EU and the country to protect and sustain the mutual interest in the maritime field,” Fabia emphasized.
Fabia said that MARINA has completed two further external evaluations regarding the country’s compliance with the STCW Convention: First, the Independent Evaluation under Regulation I/8. MARINA have communicated the information to the IMO in May 2023, including the steps taken to implement the subsequent amendments to the STCW Convention.
First, the Independent Evaluation under Regulation I/8. MARINA have communicated the information to the IMO in May 2023, including the steps taken to implement the subsequent amendments to the STCW Convention. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is presently assessing the communicated information via its Panel of Competent Persons; the outcome of their evaluation is anticipated to be released early next year.
Fabia explained, “Our compliance with the Independent Evaluation is crucial to our continued inclusion in the IMO’s “white list” of STCW-compliant countries.”
Second, during the first week of September, MARINA was subjected to the IMO Member State Audit Scheme (IMSAS), which is organized by the IMO to verify the country’s compliance and implementation of not only the STCW Convention, but also other mandatory international instruments such as SOLAS, MARPOL, LOADLINES, TONNAGE and COLREGS.
The results of IMSAS will be the basis for the IMO to provide assistance in areas where the country needs improvement in terms of enforcement of the IMO mandatory conventions.
Fabia proudly declared “I am very happy to share the good news that in terms of our implementation of the STCW Convention, the three IMSAS auditors did not find any issue nor any observation.
“As the current Administrator of MARINA, I really welcome these external evaluations as a mechanism for us to strengthen our policies, streamline our procedures and improve our services to our clients and stakeholders,” Fabia added.
AMOSUP At the forefront: Crack Down Ambulance Chasers
THE Associated Marine Officers’ and Seamen’s Union of the Philippines (AMOSUP), in collaboration with employer groups and the government, has been actively spearheading significant measures to combat ambulance chasing.
AMOSUP is the world’s largest seafarers affiliate of the influential International Transport Workers Federation (ITF), with over 130,000 members.
“We are all for the gainful employment of Filipino seafarers and the betterment of their lives and families,” said AMOSUP President Dr. Conrado Oca, adding that ambulance chasing is the reason behind the many unreasonable claims which could affect seafarers’ employment.
Many seafarers who come home after an incident on board, fall prey to “unscrupulous individuals who entice seafarers by exaggerating the amount they can claim, making the seafarers’ unfortunate condition a moneymaking venture.”
Dr. Oca stated that “principals tend to choose other nationalities to avoid dealing with these rampant unreasonable claims.”
Ambulance chasing is the illegal practice of running after susceptible seafarers and manipulating them to file unsubstantial complaints against their employers in exchange for exorbitant legal fees.
AMOSUP legal department head Atty. Noli Partido, confirmed “now shipowners are not just looking for competency, cost and availability, but also on the country’s legal environment on employing seafarers for their ships.”
“Ambulance chasing is really a monster,” he stated. It’s all about trickery. It’s all about lies. It’s all about greed and sometimes even corruption.”
ITF Seafarers’ Section Coordinator Fabrizio Barcellona, expressed dismay over “exploitative ambulance chasers” who merely use crew as a pawn to obtain an out-of-court settlement from an employer.
He said, “It was common for the lawyer or their firm to issue seafarers with ethically questionable loans at predatory interest rates, as crew waited for the settlement promised to them. In practice, the long wait means crew have to look on as lawyers’ fees and mounting interest eats away at any payout they had once expected to receive.”
An increasing number of ambulance chasers are utilizing social media platforms to establish channels of communication with seafarers and their families.
Agents claiming to be maritime consultants are openly promoting their services, which include free consultation, assistance and processing of claims of seafarers repatriated due to accident, injury, illness, death, piracy, or illegal dismissal.
Some are even publishing copies of the Release of All Rights or joint manifestation of both parties on their social media sites as proof of millions of pesos in payments to seafarers, tempting them to file lawsuits against their employers.
Keeping seafarers informed and empowered is viewed as a proactive way to combat ambulance chasers.
AMOSUP has been actively undertaking information campaigns under the slogan “Karapatan: Samasamang Ingatan,” which it launched on September 28, 2021 in collaboration with the National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP) and the International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN).
Subsequently, on February 22, 2022, AMOSUP, NMP, ISWAN, the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC), and the National Conciliation Mediation Board (NCMB) altogether signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU).
The initiatives raise seafarers’ awareness of Republic Act 10706, Act Protecting Seafarers Against Ambulance Chasing and Imposition of Excessive Fees, and Providing Penalties Therefor.
It encourages seafarers and their families to seek the support of competent government institutions, seafarers’ unions, and non-governmental groups where their safety and well-being are paramount.
AMOSUP conducted seminars at the ITF Seafarers’ Expo, held from June 23 to 25 at the Liwasang Ullalim, CCP Complex in Pasay City, and at the AMOSUP Info Caravan held on September 28 at the AMOSUP Convention Hall in Intramuros, Manila.
Posters and flyers are distributed to the seafarers and their families, as well as to other industry stakeholders.
The AMOSUP’s Maritime Academy of Asia and the Pacific (MAAP) syllabus for the legal subject has been modified to include contracts and obligations and ambulance chasing.
Meanwhile, during the AMOSUP Caravan, OWWA Administrator Arnel Ignacio, said that the OWWA Board allocated a P14.8 million budget for setting up the seafarers’ hub.
“We decided to set up a seafarers’ hub so they will have a place to hang out safe from ambulance chasers,” Ignacio said.
According to OSM Thome Managing Director Mailyn Borillo, it is critical to teach the seafarers on how to care for themselves so that they do not end up being medically repatriated and becoming victims of ambulance chasers.
The Nordic Medical Clinic (NMC) of OSM Thome applies a holistic approach to healthcare. It’s Pre-Employment Medical Examination (PEME) program does not only test seafarers’ health prior to boarding but it also teaches the seafarers how to take care of their health onboard and ashore.
Meanwhile, Philippine Transmarine Carriers SVP Capt. Ronald Enrile said that repatriation cases are rare at PTC.
In any situation, PTC has a dedicated group to care for and monitor the sick or injured seafarer.
"You must pick them up from the airport and monitor them in the hospital. If the seafarer feels you care about them, there will be no case,” Enrile remarked.
Former ship captain Cong. Khymer Adan Olaso of Zamboanga City’s First District declared, “Ambulance chasing in the Philippines must be eliminated through legislation.”
Olaso, in his address at the “Seafarers Rights and Protection” symposium organized by the Far East Maritime Foundation on September 14, recalled his encounter with an ambulance chaser.
He stated that an ambulance chaser accosted him in 2006, following an incident onboard that fractured his right hand, and advised him to file a complaint against his employer seeking a P5million judgment. To his surprise, the ambulance chaser informed him that his portion of the reward would be limited to P1 million.
Olaso refused to initiate a case and did not file a complaint with the ITF. He was a third officer earning $4,000 per month at that time.
“Sabi ko hindi ako magpapaloko (I refuse to be fooled, I said).”
“Bakit ko ipagpapalit sa five million ang career ko at bakit ko ipapalit sa five million ang dignidad ko bilang isang marino?”
Why would I give up my career for five million pesos, and why would I sacrifice my dignity as a seafarer for five million pesos?” Olaso stated.
Meanwhile, Atty. Noli Partido, AMOSUP head of legal department, believes that RA 10706, also known as the Seafarer Protection Act, should be revisited with stricter penalties and an expansion of prohibited conduct.
Partido exclaimed, “Someone should be prosecuted and convicted for violating RA 10706 due to its administrative, civil, and criminal liability.”
According to AMOSUP current documentation on ambulance chasing, the majority of the occurrences are anecdotal, because it is extremely rare to find a seafarer prepared to go public and file a lawsuit against the perpetrator.
As of press time, substantial progress has been made on the Magna Carta of Filipino Seafarers, an act that includes provisions designed to address the issue of ambulance chasing, ever since President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. declared the bill as urgent.
Some groups continue to advocate for the inclusion of an escrow provision in the law on the grounds that “the participation of a third doctor prior to initiating any dispute settlement” “does not guarantee that a seafarer enticed by an ambulance chaser will not sue the shipowner,” according to these organizations.
“Ambulance chasing will continue as long as the award is issued immediately following arbitration because the message is that big money is easy to earn.”
ALMA Maritime Group Chairman Atty. Iris Baguilat explained “the legal basis precisely of the escrow provision is anchored on what is truly the fundamental principle in litigation: the payment of the award should only come after finality.
But it’s very unique in the Philippines where you pay even before the case becomes final, and it is only in labor.”
If not included in the Magna Carta of Filipino Seafarers, the other option is to amend Republic Act No. 10706, or the Seafarers Protection Act, with the inclusion of the escrow provision or any system that will put the contested claim on hold while the appeal is still pending at the higher court.
The International Group of P & I Clubs (IG P & I) has voiced apprehension regarding the nonlinear legal system of the Philippines, specifically the lower level at which garnishment takes place.
“The NCMB completely disregards the stipulations of appropriate employment contracts and CBAs.”
Statistics show that nearly 60-70% of cases elevated to higher courts are significantly modified or reversed, as evidenced by the more than USD 37.5 million owed back to shipowners as a result of case reversal in higher courts, of which only USD 400,000 was recovered because “the money paid to the seafarers and his very enterprising lawyer has vanished into thin air.”
MARINA Administrator Atty. Hernani Fabia said unequivocally, “ambulance chasing is not a maritime concern. It is a judicial concern.” Adding that “ambulance chasing in other countries is a corruption ecosystem where all parties are involved,” he said from an article he had read.
However, Fabia declined to specify the offices in the Philippines where corruption begins in the ambulance chasing corruption ecosystem.
“It’s a corruption ecosystem.” I will not mention the offices in the Philippines. So how do you curb corruption? You cannot. In any countries there’s also corruption.”
Fabia made this statement in front of the employers present at the Joint Maritime Committee (JMC) meeting on September 28.
The Dutch Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines (DCCP), the GermanPhilippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GPCCI), the Nordic Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines (NordCham), and the Philippines Norway Business Council (PNBC) comprise the JMC. Fabia confirmed that medical claims have resulted in the cancellation of the certificates of approximately 40 seafarers.
Marlow Navigation’s Owner’s Representative Joost Mes asked MARINA to remove from their website those whose licenses have been revoked.
In response, MARINA STCW Executive Director Samuel Batalla assured that they will look into their records to determine if the cancelled licenses are still posted on their website.
Capt. Edgardo Flores, former owner’s representative and now consultant of the Eastern Mediterranean Manning Agency (EastMed) Manila, reiterated that “the arbiters and arbitrators at the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) and the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB) should be questioned as to why they are favoring unwarranted claims.”
Ambulance chasing is “hard to prove because of under the table arrangements and connivance with unscrupulous seafarers.” He said it is easier to prove the corrupt arbitrators and arbiters who continuously tendering judgement against CBA and POEA contracts.
“Yun ang madaling imbestigahan dahil me basehan.” That is easier to investigate because there is basis.
He elaborated that if the arbitrators and arbiters of the NCMB and NLRC only adhere to the CBA and POEA contracts, there will be no ambulance chaser.
He said, NCMB and NLRC were given “Final and Executory Power” under the Labor Code, which is why they are not scared to make incorrect decisions.
A Greek owner’s representative told Marino World, “If you want to solve this case, you go to the head. The lawyers just found the opportunity. They exist because they found opportunities.
“If we don’t offer them opportunities, they will disappear. Ambulance chaser is a unique phenomenon in Philippines.
NCMB Director Cynthia Foncardas said there are 62 active NCMB maritime voluntary arbitrators in the National Capital Region (NCR), where 90% of cases involving seafarers claiming for disabilities are filed.
She claimed that the NCMB, Maritime Arbitration Advisory Council, Philippine Association of Voluntary Arbitrators (PAVA), and Philippine Maritime Voluntary Arbitrators Association (PMVAA) are participating in focus group discussions with labor unions and manning agencies on the issue of ambulance chasing.
The IG P & I commented “It’s quite disturbing that the NCMB voluntary arbitrators may not be lawyers, may be lay people and are not knowledgeable about the maritime industry.”
The group argued that the accreditation of voluntary arbitrators and the processes by which they render verdicts need to be done properly, with accountability.
Orophil Shipping International Co. and the Cargo Safeway Inc. have filed charges with the Ombudsman against two NCMB arbitrators for “knowingly rendering unjust judgment, malicious delay in the administration of justice, and violation of Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.”
Earlier, Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo warned erring lawyers, stressing that members of the Bar who exploit Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) have no place in the legal system.
He strongly encouraged the filing of complaints against members of the Bar who engage in ambulance chasing to the Supreme Court or the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP).
Gesmundo said the Court has been imposing stricter disciplinary measures, such as suspending or disbarring lawyers who violate the Code of Professional Responsibility. He also mentioned that the proposed Code of Professional Responsibility and Accountability is currently undergoing, emphasizing the Court’s desire for lawyers to be more accountable to all stakeholders.
In conjunction with the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW), the Chief Justice expressed the Court’s readiness to engage in a collaborative effort to ensure that OFWs and their families have access to justice.
This is particularly noteworthy given its alignment with the Strategic Plan for Judicial Innovations 2022-2027, an authoritative document that delineates the Court’s initiatives and plans over the subsequent five years.
JMC Chairman Tore Henriksen emphasized “shipowners depend on seafarers and seafarers depend on shipowners. We are not opposites; we are not enemies.” However, he remarked, “while the shipowners trust their ships to Filipino seafarers, the Philippine regulatory body issues directives that basically signal that shipowners can’t be trusted and in a global industry like ours, that isn’t good.”
DMW OIC Atty. Hans Leo Cacdac assures continues consultations with the stakeholders ‘International Advisory Committee on Global Maritime Affairs’ (IACGMA) which was initiated by the late former DMW Secretary Susan “Toots” Ople.
Cacdac said DMW is preparing to review the 2016 Revised Rules and Regulations Governing the Recruitment and Employment of Seafarers previously enforced by the defunct Philippine Overseas Employment Administration.
The DMW OIC further said the department plans to introduce new provisions in the rules, apparently in line with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s call for ease of doing business.
Get better crew travel cost control and insight
The maritime sector is witnessing a transformative shift in its expectations and demands around crew travel. A growing emphasis on optimising and expanding interactions with crew managers has emerged, driven by the need to enhance logistics efficiency, reduce expenditure, and prioritise the well-being of seafarers during their journeys.
In response to this evolving market landscape, ATPI Marine Travel has undertaken a strategic realignment and adopted a dynamic approach on a global scale. The changes go beyond conventional crew travel management services, evolving into a comprehensive crew change logistics portfolio. New, segmented service packages will introduce a novel, end-to-end hybrid servicing solution, seamlessly incorporating cutting-edge technological advancements and soft Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) solutions into every phase of the crew change cycle.
For crew managers, this expanded crew change logistics framework offers an opportunity to optimise workflows and processes with direct operational implications. Additional data, intelligence, and support become invaluable tools, enhancing their teams’ performance. The journey begins with providing comprehensive visibility into travel analytics, followed by granting them full command of the situation, ensuring they possess a complete overview of pre, on, and post-trip activities and information. This comprehensive control extends to reducing the cost of travel and fostering a nurturing environment for employees. Detailed insights into travel patterns empower organizations to optimize their budgets and, in turn, enhance the well-being and satisfaction of their seafaring workforce.
This innovative and modular approach The maritime sector is witnessing a transformative shift in its expectations and demands around crew travel. A growing emphasis on optimising and expanding interactions with crew managers has emerged, driven by the need to enhance logistics efficiency, reduce expenditure, and prioritise the well-being of seafarers during their journeys.
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Employers are entrusted with both a legal and ethical responsibility to ensure the well-being of their employees during their commute to and from work. It is only logical that when crew members arrive at their vessel following a pleasant, secure, and comfortable journey, they are better positioned to excel in their roles and look forward to their next rotation. This not only promotes crew retention but also leads to significant cost savings by reducing recruitment and training expenditures.
Cost reduction and control
Effective cost management tools are essential. They involve the use of data to evaluate port conditions before a trip and continuously monitoring air travel status during the trip, which can yield substantial economic benefits while maintaining efficiency in the crew change workflow.
Post-trip, the focus ideally shifts towards providing access to travel data which aids in precise planning and budgeting for future crew changes. As an example, one cruise employer was recently able to save €0.5 million over just three months following a review of crew change ports carried out by ATPI Marine Travel.
Communication and monitoring
Delays and last-minute changes can cause significant issues for both crew managers and crew members. However, with realtime monitoring and support, it’s possible to address these issues proactively and schedule new travel arrangements before they become critical in terms of cost or employee well-being; in the case of the €0.5 million savings above, ATPI proactively informed crew managers and crew of any change to their booking made as part of the review. Ultimately, by optimising communication for all stakeholders, it’s possible to unlock more effective workflows and processes to support crew managers and their teams.
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Given the environmental impact of air travel, assessing the carbon cost of individual crew trips and offsetting them using certified carbon credit projects also becomes essential. This will assist ship owners and operators in managing their carbon footprint responsibly, aligning with evolving carbon reduction targets. ATPI’s new portfolio features a service package to streamline management of the carbon portfolio of crew travel, so crew managers and their team can focus on operational and cost saving initiatives.
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DMMA, 30 Years and Beyond
WITH great anticipation for a more promising future, the DMMA College of Southern Philippines (DCSP) commemorated its milestone 30th founding anniversary with its industry partners and committed staff.
DCSP hosted a Thanksgiving Party for its industry partners on October 6 at the opulent Solaire Resort hotel in Manila and a Gala Night on October 10 for its employees at the elegant Dusit Thani in Davao.
In his opening remarks, DCSP Chairman of the Board of Trustees Vicente Virtudazo, expressed gratitude to their guests: “Our partners, shipping companies, stakeholders, friends, benefactors, your assistance in taking in our school’s graduates has made possible the continued existence of DMMA. he stated, “You are very special to us.” Mrs. Saturnina Ebuenga, DCSP’s longest serving employee for 30 years, was bestowed with special recognition.
In Davao, Loyalty Awards were given to employees who has served the College for 15 years or more.
Mrs. Gloria Uriarte, president of DCSP, addressed the committed faculty and staff, stating, “You are the heart and soul of DMMA College of Southern Philippines. Your commitment to our students’ success and your continuous pursuit of knowledge have played a vital role in shaping the minds of future leaders.”
The celebrations took on greater significance with the formal launch of the DMMA Foundation, Inc.
A representative of DCSP’s former cadet scholar Christlamb Reae Vicente, now CEO and Chairman of the Philippine GBCB Management Corporation, turned over a cheque worth one million pesos as seed capital for the Foundation.
The DMMA Foundation, Inc. has been established to provide grants and endowments in support of a wide range of charitable, religious, educational, athletic, cultural, literary, scientific, environmental, medical and social welfare initiatives.
Over the last 30 years, DCSP has awarded scholarships to 8,470 financially disadvantaged students who have excelled academically and exhibited exceptional leadership and talent, in accordance with its guiding principles rooted in the values of excellence, discipline, integrity, social responsibility and equality. These scholars have since gone on to become maritime officers, corporate leaders, government employees, and agents of change.
Making better business decisions with the ICTSI App
In the fast-paced world of supply chain and logistics, International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) can help port users and businesses gain a competitive edge by providing real-time cargo visibility through the ICTSI App.
The ICTSI App is a secure operative tool that enables port users and cargo owners to monitor the status of their shipments that are loaded and offloaded from a vessel, and those that are hauled in or out of the port. Launched in 2022, the app lets users track their cargo at the Manila International Container Terminal and NorthPort – both in the Port of Manila, Subic Bay International Terminals in Zambales, Laguna Gateway Inland Container Terminal in Calamba, and Mindanao Container Terminal in Cagayan de Oro.
The ICTSI App currently has close to 29,000 users and will soon be available for customers of Adriatic Gate Container Terminal in Croatia, South Pacific International Container Terminal and Motukea International Terminal in Papua New Guinea, Onne Multipurpose Terminal in Nigeria, and Matadi Gateway Terminal in D.R. Congo.
“We understand the challenge businesses face when it comes to managing their shipments effectively. Our response is to develop an app that provides our clients with real-time data that could help them improve their logistics planning. By being able to track their shipments, our customers can generate data-driven insights to streamline their operations and lower their logistics costs,” explained Christian R. Gonzalez, ICTSI executive vice president.
The ICTSI App has three main features that promote visibility and transparency – vessel monitoring, container tracking and truck tracking.
The vessel monitoring feature lets users track the container vessel that’s transporting their cargo and receive updates on the expected arrival and departure from a port. It also provides insights on pre-advice, loading and payment cutoffs – information that would help businesses align their logistics activities accordingly to avoid potential delays.
Container tracking informs users of the real-time status of their containers from the moment they arrive at the port up to their departure. This helps cargo owners manage their shipments more efficiently to ensure they reach the end destinations as planned.
Using the truck tracking feature, businesses that rely on road transport can monitor their trucks from the moment they enter and until they exit the terminal. This information can be used to improve fleet management and streamline ground operations.
Each of these features lets the user create watchlists to monitor multiple vessels, trucks and containers, and subscribe to status updates to receive push notifications on important logistics milestones as they happen. The app lets users easily share these updates, along with other information, to other stakeholders via email and other messaging apps on their phones for
“This app is a game-changer for port users and business who can leverage the transparency features to enhance their decision-making and improve their customer service. We are working to add new features and expand the app’s coverage to include other terminals in the ICTSI Group,” added Mr. Gonzalez.
The ICTSI App is available for iOS and Android devices. Users can also access the web app using a computer.
ICTSI continuously adds value to its services by investing in new technology and developing digital solutions. Over the past decade, the company has invested more than USD20 million in information technology for its flagship Manila International Container Terminal alone. These investments have paid off during the pandemic by keeping the terminal operations running 24/7 despite the disruptions in the global supply chain.
ICTSI currently operates 32 terminals in 19 countries, and was recently named as the preferred operator for Durban Container Terminal Pier 2 in South Africa’s largest maritime port.
SPECTRAL launches Maritime Assessment System
Well-known maritime software producer Spectral Technologies, Inc., is launching a web-based software for assessment of seafarers called Maritime Assessment System or simply MAS.
Spectral has further established a partnership with local Consultancy company Techmarine Asia Ship Management, Inc. to long term provide and review multiple choice questions to ensure these are relevant, correct and of good standard.
The MAS question data base is large and is in May 2023 divided in more than 70 subjects and likely to expand further. Manila-based Spectral specializes in the production and sales of softwares related to management of ships and seafarers.
The client base goes well beyond the Philippines and shipping companies in countries like Hong Kong, Singapore, Germany, Greece, Cyprus, Ukraine, Poland and Italy are using its products.
The Spectral product line covers areas of Crew Management, Crew Payroll, Crews Work and Rest Hours, Electronic Log Books, Planned Maintenance and now Crew Assessment.
Techmarine Asia Ship Management, Inc. (TMA) is a dynamic and progressive company based in Makati that focuses on providing services to the maritime industry through technology-driven innovation and strategic partnerships.
The company has collaborated with various sectors of the economy to offer a comprehensive range of technical skills for the development, operation, and administration of maritime trading, logistics, and transportation trades.
TMA is backed by an extensive experience in international consulting and global maritime services and therefore well-equipped to help its clients achieve their goals and stay ahead of the curve in an ever-changing industry.