Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Celebrating 18th National Seafarer's Day 2013

by Atty. Dennis Gorecho
Sapalo Velez Bundang Bulilan Law Office

Seafarers and their families nationwide participated in 18th National Seafarer's Day.Activities nationwide included the Memorial at Sea, High Mass, Grand Parade, Oratorical/ Art/ Photo Contest, Karaoke challenge.

The Grand Parade from Rajah Sulayman park in Malate to Ninoy Aquino Stadium  was participated in by more than 6000 stakeholders from maritime schools, government agencies, manning agencies, training centers, maritime organizations, unions, families and private institutions. The high mass was celebrated by Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle while Vice-President Jejomar Binay was the keynote speaker.

Another highlight is the awarding of the Top Ten Outstanding Maritime Students of the Philippines: . Derwin P. Alcazar (Malayan Colleges Laguna), Mark Angelo B. Brillo (Mariner’s Polytechnic Colleges Foundation-Camarines Sur), Isagani A. Canal (DMMA Colleges of Southern Philippines), Jo-Mari G. Hieras (Maritime Academy of Asia and the Pacific (MAAP) West Campus), Monteo Ho (Maritime Academy of Asia and the Pacific (MAAP) East Campus), Mark Joseph D. Norico (Maritime Academy of Asia and the Pacific (MAAP) West Campus), Laarni Grace R. Pangilinan (Philippine Merchant Marine Academy PMMA), Micho O. Santillan (John B. Lacson Colleges Foundation-Bacolod, Inc.), Khennan John S. Suarez (John B. Arevalo), John Patrick Vea (MAAP).  

Former president Fidel V. Ramos earlier issued on July 9, 1996 Proclamation No. 828 declaring August 18 as National Seafarers' Day wherein  the Apostleship of the Sea (AOS) was tasked to coordinate with the public and private sector in   activities related to the celebration of said event.

The purpose of the Proclamation is to give due recognition to the vital role of Filipino seafarers towards the development of the Philippines as a maritime countryLater,  Proclamation No.1094 was issued in 1997 by President Ramos   during the last Sunday of September every year. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) on the other hand, in its Circular No. 1884 dated July 11, 1996, requested all member nations to “celebrate’ World Maritime Day (WMD)during the last week of every September (maritime week) of each year. Consequently, Presidential Proclamation No. 866 dated Sept. 6, 1996 declared Sept. 27, 1996 and the last Friday of September every year, as National Maritime Day (NMD) spearheaded alternatively by the government agencies , to wit Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), and  Philippine Ports Authority (PPA).
The Philippines is considered as the major supplier of maritime labor globally. Per Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) data,. Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) data showed that the deployed Filipino seafarers in 2006 (274,497), 2007 (266,553), 2008 (261,614), 2009 (330,424), 2010 (347,150), and 2011 (400,000) brought in the dollar remittances that have also been constantly increasing from US$1.9B in 2006, US$2.2B in 2007 , US$3B in 2008, US$3.4B in 2009, US$3.8B in 2010 to S$4.3B in 2011. As of 2013, the seabased sector’s remittance comprise at least 22% of the total dollar remittances of OFWs. No specific reason can be identified in the increase in dollar remittance despite the drop of supply globally in 2007 and 2008. But perhaps it is a result of increase in the salaries of the seafarers, on one hand, or the more aggressive “remittance” attitude of the Filipino seafarers, on the other hand. On the other hand, the Philippines as a flag State has a registered fleet comprising around 1.4% of total world tonnage.

Given the vast Philippine coast line (twice the size of the United States and nearly three times more than China), Filipinos have natural maritime instincts that place them at an advantage over other nationalities. Foreign shipowners are known to prefer Filipino seafarers for equally important qualities: dedication and discipline, industry, flexibility, loyalty, English language fluency, adaptability, positive work attitude, law-abiding, and problem-solving capability.

Ironically, the Philippines almost lost its slot on the historical first thirty ratifying countries of the Maritime Labour Convention of 2006 (MLC2006 It took the philippines six years to ratify MLC2006 on August 13, 2012 after it became a signatory of the so called international magna carta for seafarers rights..The convention sets out minimum standards and fair working conditions for seafarers worldwide. Philippines is the thirtieth country to ratify MLC 2006 out of the 314 signatories and one of the of the first thirty ratifying countries required for the convention to take effect.

Original source of this article here - http://kapitankokak.blogspot.com/2013/10/angkla-no-show-in-2013-national.html

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