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. Total Share: 4011101

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Blog writing: flavour versus frequency

Marine Café Blog is now being updated twice a week at most. This is to give myself more time for certain projects I had put on hold for too long, including two upcoming books. Nonetheless, I hope readers will enjoy the flavour of what is served and maybe talk about it — as in German artist René Reinicke‘s pre-1926 work […]

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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. Total Share: 10412300

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Cadets in servitude and human rights

It tells a lot about values in Manila’s manning sector. Maritime cadets are made to work as unpaid office help or flunkeys, and people see nothing wrong with it. Yet, one has to be callous and ignorant not to see that the serve-for-sail practice demeans cadets and is a violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Total Share: 2001100

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