The Filipino Association for Mariners Employment (FAME) conducted the 35th Annual General Membership Meeting and Election of Board of Directors for 2009-2011 on October 15, 2009 at the Hyatt Hotel and Casino Manila. More than 100 stakeholders and leaders coming from the member-companies arrived in the event.

The meeting started with the discussion made by the US Embassy Vice Consul Jonathan Earle who updated the general membership concerning the guidelines on the issuance of seafarers’ visa. Other representatives of the Seafarers Team of the Non-Immigrant Visa Unit of the US Embassy were also present during the meeting. On some issues particularly involving the denial or refusal of visa to seafarers without sea service, Mr. Earle emphasized that previous sea experience is not required to apply for or be issued a U.S. Visa, what is important is that a seafarer can be able to explain the specifics of his job and that he credibly engage in the activities authorized under the particular NIV classification.

Before the election of board of directors gets started, Mr. Marlon R. Roño current president of the Association delivered the FAME Annual Report for 2009. Briefly, he stated the Association’s accomplishments from 2008-2009 particularly mentioning what the industry did to address the problems on security of seafarers navigating the Gulf of Aden; the deployment challenges faced by technical personnel, cruise workers, fishermen; the creation of the different standard of employment contract for each sector adaptable to the current and changing times; and the pending legislations. He as well extended his appreciation to the general membership more particularly to the officers and board of directors who walked with him through out his leadership to achieve in carrying out the projects and plans of the Association.

As practiced for the past four years, the members voted through computerized election. It turned out that 70% of the general membership cast their votes. Ms. Josephine J. Francisco former president of the Association and current president of Dolphin Ship Management, Inc. & NYK-Fil Ship Management, Inc. garnered the highest number of votes by the members. Others who made it to the top fifteen were: Engr. Sammuel T. Lim, Great Southern Maritime Corp.; Mr. Ericson M. Marquez, Virjen Shipping Corp.; Capt. Reynaldo D. Casareo, Cargo Safeway, Inc.; Capt. Teodoro B. Quijano, Barko International, Inc.; Mr. Marlon R. Roño, Magsaysay Maritime Corp.; Mr. Jose Albar G. Kato, Albar Shipping and Trading Corp.; Capt. Victor S. Del Prado, Klaveness Maritime Agency, Inc.; RADM Adonis B. Donato, OSM Maritime Services, Inc.; Capt Constantino Arcellana Jr., Globe Master Marine Agency, Inc.; Mr. Michael J. Estaniel, Trans-Global Maritime Agency, Inc.; Capt. Emmanuel L. Regio, Island Overseas Transport Corp.; Capt. Lou A. Atienza, Euro-Asiatic Shipping, Inc.; Capt. Hernando S. Eusebio, Trans Star Shipping Agency Corp. and Mr. Reuben C. Romero, Southfield Agencies, Inc.

According to the schedule, the first meeting of the Board of Directors will be conducted soonest purposely to elect the officers of the board for 2009-2011.