The Filipino Association for Mariners’ Employment, Inc. (FAME) usually conducted four or three general membership meetings a year to ensure that the members meet personally and share their opinions and views on a particular issue and be updated of all information affecting the maritime industry. 


As of the moment, the Association had already conducted two general membership meetings. The first one was made last 07 February 2008 and the second one was last 23 April 2008 where both held at the Hyatt Hotel and Casino Manila, Ermita, Manila. These meetings were both attended by a majority of the members, as lots of controversial issues in the industry were discussed during these meetings. 


In its recent meeting last 23 April 2008, three guest speakers arrived, namely: Deputy Administrator Noriel Devanadera of the Maritime Office Affairs (MOA), Mr. Aruel M. Cortez of Pfizer Philippines, Inc., and Mr. Ole Stene of InterManager. At first, Newly appointed Department of Labor Employment (DOLE) Secretary Marianito Roque was supposed to be the main guest speaker of the meeting. However, due to an emergency call from the President of the Philippines Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, he informed the Association at the last minute that he couldn’t come. 


In his speech, Da Devanadera said that he is truly grateful to renew and rekindle the old spirit of partnership which FAME has started even before he joined the government. He noted that since its establishment in 1974, FAME has remained steadfast in its motto of working together with the industry for excellence and he further added of his happiness to commend FAME fro continually promoting harmonious relationships among its members and for its strong partnership with the government in ensuring the continued employment of Filipino mariners around the globe. He likewise mentioned that FAME’s motto “Working Together with Industry for Excellence” takes a relevant and greater meaning. 


The recent meeting took more than 3 hours before the discussion of all items in the agenda were finished, which composed of significant current issues in the industry. One of which was the issue on proposed executive order on institutionalizing the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) as the Maritime Administration of the Philippines, abolishing the Maritime Training Council (MTC), etc. Engr. Sammuel T. Lim, president of the Association, informed that the Joint Manning Group (JMG) by which FAME was one of the leading associations, had recommended therein a status quo at present any change in the government structure until such time an improvement took in and was able to address the prevailing global crisis of officers’ shortage, which is expected to continue in the next five years. He stated also that the proposed change would greatly hamper the deployment of thousands of Filipino seafarers on-board international ships. He also mentioned that the industry does not need additional bureaucracy, what is important at the moment is how the interest of the industry will be protected. 


Other significant topics that were also discussed during the meeting are Ship Security Officer (SSO), IMO’s 39th Session, Result of the Maritime School Assessment Program (MSAP), and Maritime Educational Development Loan Program (MEDLOP).