The Filipino Association for Mariners’ Employment, Inc. (FAME) held the first ever Philippine Cruise Manning Forum last May 20, 2009 at the Hyatt Hotel and Casino Manila, since the Philippines began supplying manpower to cruise vessels more than 20 years ago, to discuss issues and concerns affecting the employment of the Filipino cruise personnel with the objective of enhancing the competitiveness of the Filipino by strengthening competence and reviewing employment terms.

The forum which was well attended by many of the major world cruise operators employing thousands of Filipino Seafarers and Service Personnel, local manning agents and Philippine government agencies involved in the employment of Filipino crew onboard cruise vessels provided an opportunity for these industry players to convene on how best to review address and find solutions for the continued employment of the Filipino Seafarers in the significant segment of the Forum which is the High Level Meeting.

The rest of the cruise company representatives present expressed their gratitude to FAME for organizing the Forum and to the Philippine government officials who attended, especially DOLE Secretary Marianito D. Roque. They said that their visit to the Philippines to attend the Forum was worth it, and they will support any future meeting of this kind regarding the employment and/or contract of Filipino cruise personnel.

The forum concluded fruitfully with the agreements made by the government and the cruise manning industry including amongst others the commitment of the cruise companies to the Philippines of continued employment of Filipino seafarers , the commitment of the government and the Philippine cruise manning industry to train the Filipino seafarers in specific skills in order to attain and/or maintain the status of the Filipino as the nationality of choice for cruise ships’ hotel personnel as well as to be given senior level/managerial positions on board, and the creation of a distinct and separate Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) employment contract for Filipino cruise personnel with terms and conditions that would maintain their adaptability to the current global situation and provide the balance in safeguarding the interests of the Filipino cruise and hotel personnel, the cruise companies, and the manning agencies.

The Philippine Cruise Manning Industry is now assured of a brighter future as DOLE Secretary Roque agreed to have this forum held annually.