• Far-out ways to vet Filipino maritime schools

    I can’t blame inspectors from the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) for being rather bookish in their audit of Philippine maritime academies. By necessity, they have to go by the specific regulations of the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (or STCW), 1978, in determining whether quality management systems are in place or training equipment […]

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  • Filipino maritime schools: the key question

    Philippine maritime schools are on alert. A team from the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) will visit the country in mid-March for their fifth inspection since 2006 (the 2012 visit did not entail inspection, only consultation with maritime administration officials). This has been a protracted affair. It’s time to cut to the chase.

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Recent Posts

A foray into maritime book writing

No, I have not joined a monastic order. The reason this blog was not updated for more than a fortnight is that I have been immersing myself like a 15th-century monk in an exciting new project. I am writing a book entitled ‘Close Encounters in Maritime Manila’. If all goes well, it should be available soon to the public, as […]

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Grappling with gender-neutral language

The gender-neutral language mania has not spared the shipping world. Several times I have been knocked on social media for advocating the use of “seaman” or “seawoman” in lieu of the over-inclusive and less accurate term “seafarer”. The objections usually come from feminists who will not tolerate any term which references only one gender. Using such words, in their view, […]

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The greatest sin of the maritime press

The most grievous sin committed by many in the maritime press is not copy-and-paste journalism, which is rather common these days. Nor is it sloppy writing by reporters. It is the obliteration of the once-sacred line between editorial space and advertising space, the unabashed but often covert selling of the former for money or personal favours.

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EMSA 2017 visit: cutting to the chase

Inspectors from the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) will fly to Manila in mid-March for what would be their fifth inspection visit since 2006. The process has been overlong – like a spiral staircase that does not seem to end. It is time to cut to the chase and for the European Commision to decide on the fate of Filipino […]

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