The Filipino Association for Mariners’ Employment, Inc. (FAME) held its Annual General Membership Meeting last October 9, 2008 at the Hyatt Hotel and Casino Manila, which tagged as the last general membership for the year 2008. It was attended by eighty-five (85) member-companies. This meeting was significant because the then current president, Engr. Sammuel T. Lim made a special announcement on his leadership with the Association.

In his speech, Engr. Lim announced to the general membership that he stepped down as President of the Association despite of his unfinished term. He also mentioned that he gave his best shot when he assumed the position as President of FAME two years ago. According to him, much is yet to be done and much will always need to be done in the Philippine Seafaring industry. It is an enormous responsibility and is only achievable by a united team effort. He believes that what can sustain the collaborative spirit is pure and simple “regular leadership change” as only regular leadership change can promote the team effort, motivate the team to contribute to the common objective and encourage fence-sitters.

Before Engr. Lim finished his speech, he announced and called his successor, Mr. Marlon R. Roño who was his Vice President then. It was a diverse of sadness and happiness moment, as Engr. Lim turned-over the FAME Flag and the bell (used by the President in Board Meetings) to the latter. The new president informed everybody that being the new President of FAME, the largest manning association in the country, is a big challenge to him. Thus, he asked the support and cooperation of everybody for his leadership in order to carry out what the previous presidents of the Association had achieved.

Mr. Ole Stene, President of InterManager and Managing Director of Aboitiz Jebsens Manila, was one of the guest speakers who discussed about the significant issue of the global crew supply shortage and the need for a sustainable crew supply pool to meet the demands of the burgeoning world shipping fleet and the important role Asia has to play in trying to resolve what is the global shipping industry’s biggest and most serious dilemma. He said that the initiation of a well-designed and planned training program should be one effective and long-term solution. He mentioned that there is a need to address the recruitment situation earlier in the education process, and to inform and educate the seafarers and to nurture in order to effectively and wisely plan a recruitment strategy for the future.

Likewise present in the meeting as one of the guest of honors was Capt. Benjamin V. Mata, who played a vital role in the establishment of the Association in early 70’s, being the first president and one of the founders of the Association.