Tag Archives: manning

Five Filipino maritime illusions dispelled

“It is far harder to kill a phantom than a reality,” wrote the English writer Virginia Woolf. Quite true, but the maritime illusions which many Filipinos harbour need to be killed. Such phantoms are not only a source of false national pride. They bedazzle the mind and blind Filipinos to reality, making it more difficult for them to change things […]

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Is there really a “seafaring industry”?

We look askance every time folks in Manila use the term “seafaring industry”. It’s normal to say “banking industry” but not “bank teller industry” – although bank tellers or cashiers are in the forefront of the business as they deal directly with customers. Likewise, we speak of the “trucking industry” but never of the “truck driving industry”. There’s a “hair […]

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The fate of Manila’s maritime flunkeys

It seems utterly wrong to order maritime cadets to buy pizza and run other errands for company staff. But in Manila, it’s standard practice. Manning agencies and even unions use young aspiring ship officers as unpaid office help, with the promise of putting them on board their first vessel. The local term for them is ‘utility.’ That sounds bloody cold, […]

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How not to recruit Filipino seafarers

Nineteen manning agencies are facing sanctions after a recent Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) crackdown on illegal recruitment at Manila’s Luneta Park. None of them reportedly had the requisite Special Recruitment Authority (SRA) to hire workers outside their registered offices. We totally approve of the POEA action. The open solicitation for ship officers and ratings by representatives of crewing outfits […]

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Time and the maritime status quo

Only 66 days before Christmas and 73 days before another new year. It’s not so much the swiftness of Time that amazes us as how everything is constantly changing – people, situations and even places. Almost everything anyway. One thing that remains unchanged is the Philippines’ maritime industry. Today, 477 days after President Benigno Aquino III assumed office, what we […]

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Getting on board an ECDIS bandwagon

We’ve just received word from Transas St Petersburg that EPSILON Hellas and its Manila-based Epsilon Maritime Services have signed up for GET-Net, Transas’ global ECDIS training network. Their Transas-approved training center in the Philippine capital will provide Transas equipment-specific ECDIS training and certification. EPSILON Hellas is funding the new and upgraded training facility, which will be up and running by […]

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Of greenbacks, seafarers and servants

Counting money is boring. Counting certain other things, though, can be quite interesting. Take the seafarer statistics for 2009 from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA). What shipping recession were they talking about? Last year, a total of 330,424 seafarers left the country to work on board ocean-going vessels – up 26% from 261,614 in 2008. Assuming seafarers worldwide number […]

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