Category Archives: Manning, Training and Jobs

Abandoned crews: all’s well that ends well?

The press release issued by the ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) last 13th of March was understandably jubilant: 17 crew members of the Panama-flagged Sea Honest had all finally returned home. The Indian and Turkish seamen were abandoned in Algeria, unpaid and without provisions, in July 2016. The nightmare is over. Justice has been done, according to the ITF. I […]

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Maritime training videos are underrated

I find it interesting that instructional videos are rarely, if ever, used in maritime schools and training centres in the Philippines, the world’s top crew-supplying nation. When I first explored the world of coffee, I learned plenty by watching films about how coffee is harvested and roasted, the proper way to store coffee beans and the different methods of brewing. […]

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Filipino ignorance about EMSA inspections

Many Filipinos engaged in manning and training still harbour in their heads some fallacies about the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) and the inspections it conducts on behalf of the European Commission, which represents the 28 European Union member states. In previous posts, I had written about two major misconceptions. These are so egregious that they bear repeating on the […]

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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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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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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. Total Share: 9421101

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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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