• filipino-seaman-factory-2016

    Strongman fix for the seaman factory?

    The Economist called him the “thuggish mayor” of Davao City. But Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippines’ new president, won over the masses precisely because of his tough, gangsterish image. Will the Filipino seaman factory, which has been hankering for the European Union’s stamp of approval, finally shape up under his rule?

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  • frankie_2016

    A cat talks US politics, world shipping

    Of late, Frankie the Philosopher Cat, the smartest of our house cats, has been spending more time watching cable TV. It turns out that he has been closely following the US presidential campaign. Why would a cat be interested in American politics? Curious, Marine Café Blog decided to have a little chat with Frankie.

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Recent Posts

Time to resuscitate the term “seaman”

Marine Café Blog recently took the bold step of completely dropping the use of the term “seafarer” in favour of “seaman” or “seawoman”. Not many, I’m afraid, will follow suit. The International Maritime Organization has virtually buried the word “seaman” with the entire shipping industry only too happy to attend the funeral.

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The anomaly of the Day of the Seafarer

Call me a grinch, a spoilsport. But I have never felt the urge to observe the Day of the Seafarer (25th of June). It’s not just the empty slogans and tributes from the very people who have commodified seamen that dampen my mood. I am dismayed by the mere fact that the annual celebrations are spearheaded by the International Maritime […]

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Wanted: Register of rogue shipowners

Violations of seamen’s rights under IL0 Maritime Labour Convention, 2006, have not ebbed. Isn’t it time we had a central register of errant shipowners? There are no rogue ships; there are only rogue shipowners. To use the former phrase, as the unions and the maritime press are wont to do, is to miss the point that all breaches of MLC […]

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The return of Marine Café Blog

After a long absence due to personal matters, Marine Café Blog is back with a couple of changes. Not the least important: the blog is completely dropping the use of the term “seafarer”. Henceforth, those who sail and work on board merchant ships will be referred to by their proper epithet, seaman or seawoman.

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Unsolved glut of Filipino maritime schools

Not too long ago, Philippine schools for ship officers numbered close to 90. In an environment of official complacency and corruption, they had been allowed to proliferate like the mushrooms in American artist Jamie Wyeth‘s 1963 oil painting titled “Mushroom Picker” (pictured aboved). Have the reforms instituted by Manila addressed the problem?

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