• vetting-maritime-training-centres

    Shipowners: vetting the training centres

    I used to go café-hopping in Manila. I would check out the brewing equipment in a particular coffeehouse, chat with the baristas and find out what sort of coffee beans and water they used. Shouldn’t shipowners likewise vet the country’s maritime training centres? Bad coffee will only set a customer back by a few bucks; a badly trained seaman could […]

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  • frog-maritime-school-fix

    Radical fix for Filipino maritime schools

    Is raising the standard of Philippine maritime education a quixotic goal? Maybe so. The glut of maritime schools continues, and we hear muffled complaints from school owners about how government inspections are carried out. One should hope, nonetheless, that the system is not beyond redemption. Listed below are some radical solutions to fix the underlying problems.

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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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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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