Over several years, the country’s pursuance to finally pass the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) audit has become a watch story for the Philippine maritime industry, and just how important it is for the government to really push and work hard for this objective was again realized during the 2nd FAME General Membership Meeting, which was held on 17 September 2014 at the Ballroom 1 of Hyatt Regency Hotel & Casino Manila, Malate Manila.
Timely with the EMSA visit which will took place on 29 September 2014 to 04 October 2014, following the reprieve of the Abaya Mission where the Philippine government was able to convince the European Commission to return to the country and view its progress from 2012 after the Philippine government had made radical steps to address the issues concerning STCW implementation, Atty. Jabeth Sena Jepath A. Dacanay, the Deputy Executive Director for STCW and the Chief of Staff for the Office of the Administrator of the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), identified the deficiencies noted during the last audit and presented the details and reforms that the administration has been doing in addressing the deficiencies in preparation for the upcoming audit. The industry knew the impending audit was crucial, and the Philippine Maritime Industry is at stake thus an appeal was made for all concerned agencies and industry stakeholders to extend support for the effective materialization of the developments. In a separate report, she also tackled the salient provisions of the R.A. 10635, an Act that established the MARINA as the Single Maritime Administration in the country responsible for ensuring the full implementation and compliance of the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) 1978, As Amended,and its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR).
The FAME Board also took part in addressing updates on other industry matters which included the following:
·         Launching of the JMG’s latest innovation project for the maritime community, the MARINO and JOBS MARINO GO mobile applications. MARINO is dedicated to bring the most updated news and happenings about the Maritime Industry. It will also include a comprehensive industry directory that Filipino seafarers and the maritime community can utilize and an Emergency Button which enables the user to contact a specific government agency in times of urgency. The JOBS MARINO GO on the other hand, is a search engine that features the most legitimate roster of job vacancies from only the best and POEA-certified manning agencies.
·         The creation of new PDOS module for Filipino Seafarers which will be available at the Seafarer Center,
·         The amendments on the TESDA Regulations for Ships Catering Services (NCIII), which drew various reactions from the audience such that a review of the said amendments was proposed,
·         The draft POEA Governing Board Resolution on high risk area/new IBF list of warlike and high risk designations,
·         The implementation of integration of International Passenger Service Charge (IPSC),
·         Status of the MITC proposed Magna Carta of Seafarers and the Legal Committee’s comments/recommendations to House Bill nos. 4137, 3971, 3801 4004 and 4529.
A highlight was made also on the joint open letter from the concerned Stakeholders of the Philippine Seafaring Industry appealing to all Stakeholders of the Philippine Maritime Industry. First, for the Congress and Government to provide the necessary budget which will serve as the lifeblood of the industry for the implementation of the new R.A. 10635 and to ask that the practice of tripartism be adopted in all policy and other important deliberations affecting the industry. Then the Labor and the Private Sector were enjoined to unite and continue giving support to the industry towards greater success as the country of choice for maritime manpower in the world.
It was reported also that FAME is embarking on a study regarding the deployment of Filipino armed guards on board vessels as a new employment opportunity for Filipinos.
The occasion also served as venue to celebrate the acceptance of two (2) newly accepted members of the Association namely Aminta Crew Management, Inc. and F.A. Vinnen Philippines, Inc. whom were awarded with Certificate of Membership.