The Filipino Association for Mariners’ Employment, Inc. (FAME) conducted an info-series last 19 September 2006 at the La Azotea, Casa Marinero of NYK-FIL Ship Management, Inc., Intramuros, Manila. 

FAME specially arranged this symposium that dealt with the provisions of the ILO & IMO Conventions particularly the Bill of Rights for Seafarers, which nicknamed as the “Superconvention” and officially as the “MARITIME LABOUR CONVENTION 2006. 

Last August 2006 the idea came when the Association proposed to hold a lecture series as a means of orienting the manning companies on the importance of the conventions to the industry. It is designed to provide them a better understanding on the provisions of the maritime conventions particularly in the Philippines. 

The symposium was pursued with the main functions of the Association, which is to provide relevant and updated information to its members regarding important developments in the shipping and maritime industry through symposia, dialogue and other fora. 

On the day itself, participants from member-manning companies were in the hands of able man and woman namely Mr. Temesgen Sammuel of International Labour Organization (ILO) and Atty. Brenda V. Pimentel of International Maritime Organization (IMO) who have acquired expertise through hands-on experience in their respective fields to speak about the latest development forged by the ILO, which compliments key conventions for quality shipping of the IMO. 

The ILO set of rules were called conventions and recommendations, but now they are called regulations and guidelines with Standards (code A) and Guidelines (code B) similar to the IMO STCW. The layout is different in that the regulation is followed immediately with its relevant codes rather than as separate sections as in the IMO STCW. Like the STCW convention Standards (code A) are mandatory while the guidelines (code B) provide additional guidelines. Again as with the IMO STCW convention, this format makes a much faster revision procedure as the Standards and Guidelines can be amended more easily than the Regulations of the MARITIME LABOUR CONVENTION 2006. Notably, this convention does not have a number as past ones have and it embodies and updates all past conventions with the exception of ILO 108 (seafarers identity document) that will still stand on its own as separate instrument (C185). 

To date the Philippines has ratified only four (4) ILO Maritime Conventions viz:

1. ILO Convention No. 23 - refers to Repatriation of Seafarers
2. ILO Convention No. 53 - refers to Officers Competency
3. ILO Convention No. 165 - refers to Social Security of Seafarers
4. ILO Convention No. 179 - refers to Repatriation of Seafarers 

The Maritime Labour Convention 2006 is presently undergoing ratification by members’ states and will enter into force 12 months after the date on which at least 30 members with at total share in the world gross tonnage of at least 33 percent 

The terminology has been deliberately been made less legalistic in order to promote a better understanding and hence implementation of the Maritime Labour Convention 2006. 

Both IMO and ILO tripartite in nature with representation composed of governments, employers and unions. 

On the other hand, the symposium was actively participated by the FAME President, Ms. Josephine J. Francisco and other members of the Board, namely Mr. James E. Nicoll, Capt. Reynaldo D. Casareo and Capt. Victor S. Del Prado, and it drew sixty-nine (69) participants. 

Seeing the fruitful result of this action, surely FAME will continue its goals to achieve more developments in the Philippine Maritime Industry.