It is overwhelming that we Filipinos are regarded as the “Seafarers of Choice for the World’s Fleet”. We are long been known for as quality seafarers. Not only did they uplift the Philippine integrity, but also greatly contributed to the progress of national economy. The Philippine shipping industry takes its pride in this recognition and thus counts our seafarers as the jewels and staunchest asset that are being carefully taken cared of and nourish through continuous development of quality and competency. 

And who regarded Filipino seafarers as the most preferred crew and officers? Thanks to our foreign partners who continuously trust and rely on Filipino seafarers pool to man their high risk and big sophisticated ships hence making us the manning capital of the world. 

The Philippine Government did not ignore this good partnership between the shipping industry and our foreign employers and its exemplary implication to the Philippine society and economic stability. Hence, in 2002, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo issued Proclamation No. 199 instituting the International Maritime Awards to honor “deserving shipping principals for being top providers of employment to Filipino seafarers an their valuable contribution to the upliftment of the well-being of the Filipino seafarers.” This is to express our sincere recognition and appreciation to foreign principals, shipping executives and maritime organizations for consistently providing productive employment to Filipino seafarers. 

Indeed, this noble thrust of the Philippine government proved greater return to the Philippines, socially and economically because of the rise of number of deployed seafarers and added remittances. 

This year 2005, as a continuing motion and gratitude for the better results, the Second International Employers Awards was held as part of the DOLE Labor Opportunities Program with a goal to promote more the employment of Filipinos abroad. Though, budgetary constraint was seen as a hassle in holding the awards rites, still they push through and even made it orderly and exceptional. 

Maritime Associations such as Philippine-Japan Manning Council (PJMCC), Philippine Association of Manning Agencies and Ship Managers, Inc. (PAMAS); and International Maritime Association of the Philippines (INTERMAP) as spearheaded by the Filipino Association for Mariners’ Employment, Inc. (FAME), together joined hands in supporting the event to make happen the special recognition rites. 

In result, a separate Ministerial and Presidential awarding ceremony for the maritime sector was held last 20 and 21 November 2005 at the Polkabal & Pandanggo Ballroom of Manila Hotel for the former and at Malacañan Palace for the latter. 

This year, 56 ministerial Employer awardees, 25 Presidential Employer Awardees, 8 shipping executives and 7 maritime organizations were awarded, showing a greater percentage of employers compared to the first awarding rites. 

MINISTERIAL AWARDEES 

1. ANGLO-EASTERN GROUP
2. AP MOLLER SHIPPING GROUP OF COMPANIES
3. BARBER SHIP MANAGEMENT LIMITED
4. BERGESEN WORLDWIDE GAS ASA
5. BROSTROM SHIPPING GROUP
6. COLUMBIA SHIPMANAGEMENT, LTD.
7. CSCS INTERNATIONAL NV
8. DOHLE (IOM) LTD.
9. EGON OLDENDORFF
10. FAIRMONT SHIPPING
11. GRIEG BILLABONG AS
12. HAPAG LLOYD CONTAINER LINIE
13. HOEGH FLEET SERVICES AS
14. HOLLAND AMERICA LINE WESTOURS, INC
15. INTER-ORIENT MARITIME ENT., INC-Liberia
16. JO TANKERS AS
17. K – LINE (KAWASAKI KISEN KAISHA, LTD. CO.)
18. KEYMAX MARITIME CO LTD
19. KNUTSEN O.A.S SHIPPING AS
20. KRISTIAN GERHARD JEBSEN SKIPREDERI A/S
21. MAGICAL CRUISE CO. LTD/ DISNEY CRUISE LINE
22. MARLOW NAVIGATION CO. LTD.
23. MASTERBULK PTE. LTD. / WESTFAL- LARSEN MANAGEMENT AS
24. MICHAELMAR SHIPPING SERVICES INC.
25. MITSUI O.S.K. LINES, LTD.
26. NISSHO SHIPPING COMPANY LIMITED
27. NORTHERN MARINE MANAGEMENT LTD./CHEVRON TRANSPORT CORP.
28. NORWEGIAN CREW MANAGEMENT AS
29. NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE
30. NYK LINE
31. ODFJELL ASA
32. OSM NORWAY A/S
33. P&O CRUISES (BERMUDA)
34. PRINCESS CRUISES
35. ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISES LTD
36. SCHULTE GROUP
37. SHELL INTERNATIONAL TRADING & SHIPPING CO. LTD.
38. SMIT SINGAPORE PTE LTD.
39. SPLIETHOFF BEHEER B.V.
40. ST. PAUL MARITIME (TNKC)
41. STAR CRUISES
42. STOLT NIELSEN TRANSPORT GROUP, INC.
43. TEEKAY SHIPPING LTD.
44. THOME SHIP MANAGEMENT PTE. LTD.
45. TIDEWATER MARINE
46. TOWA SHOUN CO., LTD
47. TRANSOCEAN SERVICE CO. LTD.
48. UGLAND MARINE SERVICES AS
49. V. SHIPS GROUP
50. VAN OORD SHIP MANAGEMENT B.V.
51. VELA INTERNATIONAL MARINE LTD.
52. VENTNOR NAVIGATION, INC.
53. VROON B.V.
54. WALLENIUS MARINE AB
55. WORLD MARINE PANAMA SA
56. WORLD WIDE SHIPPING MANAGERS PTE. LTD. 

PRESIDENTIAL AWARDEES 

1. AP MOLLER SHIPPING GROUP OF COMPANIES
2. BROSTROM SHIPPING GROUP
3. COLUMBIA SHIPMANAGEMENT, LTD.
4. FAIRMONT SHIPPING
5. HOEGH FLEET SERVICES AS
6. HOLLAND AMERICA LINE WESTOURS, INC
7. INTERORIENT MARITIME ENT., INC-Liberia
8. "K" – LINE (KAWASAKI KISEN KAISHA, LTD. CO.)
9. KEYMAX MARITIME CO LTD
10. MITSUI O.S.K. LINES, LTD.
11. NISSHO SHIPPING COMPANY LIMITED
12. NYK LINE
13. ODFJELL ASA
14. ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISES LTD
15. SCHULTE GROUP
16. SHELL INTERNATIONAL TRADING & SHIPPING CO. LTD.
17. SMIT SINGAPORE PTE LTD.
18. ST. PAUL MARITIME (TNKC)
19. STOLT NIELSEN TRANSPORT GROUP, INC.
20. TEEKAY SHIPPING LTD.
21. TIDEWATER MARINE
22. UGLAND MARINE SERVICES AS
23. V. SHIPS GROUP
24. VELA INTERNATIONAL MARINE LTD.
25. VROON B.V. 

MARITIME ORGANIZATIONS 

1. JAPANESE SHIPOWNERS ASSOCIATION
2. INTERNATIONAL MARINERS MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION OF JAPAN (IMMAJ)
3. NORWEGIAN SHIPOWNERS ASSOCIATION
4. NORWEGIAN MARITIME UNIONS
4.1 Norwegian Seafarers Union
4.2 Norwegian Maritime Association
4.3 Norwegian Union of Marine Engineers
5. ALL JAPAN SEAMEN’S UNION
6. ROYAL DUTCH SHIPOWNER’S ASSOCIATION (KVNR) 
7. DANISH SHIPOWNERS ASSOCIATION 

SHIPPING EXECUTIVES 

1. MR. PIETER W. VROON
2. MR. KOJI MIYAHARA
3. MR. SHIRO KIUCHI
4. CAPT. GEORGE ELIA AGATHOCLEOUS
5. CAPT. MASAAKI KOBAYASHI
6. MR. KENICHI IWAKAWA
7. MR. AKIMITSU ASHIDA
8. JACOB STOLT-NIELSEN


Once again, the Filipinos have shown their noble values through this thrust and we made our foreign employers very happy for the recognition given them. 

As we look forward that this would gear towards tight and stronger partnership with them, let us always realize that the quest is not yet over. In this light, the shipping industry should keep on hard work to cope with the advent of modernization and remain competitive enough as the competition is also getting taut despite the vast opportunity at hand. Let us not get lax but even persevere to keep our integrity as world-class seafarers.