Various manning associations, stakeholders, government as well as private sectors from the maritime industry had successfully participated in a very stimulating workshop last 03 August 2007 in Century Park Hotel, Manila. 

The workshop was ultimately designed and organized with a chief focus to produce a consolidated issues of each sector based on the agreed framework - “what we have done; what we are still doing; and what we expect from other sectors including the government and the principals” and come up/develop a common industry position on the solutions required to tackle the present challenges on meeting the global demand for Filipino seafarers. 

The event took off on an energetic pace with FAME President Engr. Sammuel T. Lim, Chairman of the Manning Convention, setting the things in a perspective. Engr. Lim welcomed all participants and expressed his pleasure of having the great opportunity by the presence of experts and professionals from governmental and non-governmental backgrounds. 

Mr. Eric Marquez, Member of the Organizing Committee, provided an informative overview and led the discussion on "POEA Statistical Data on Seafarers’ Deployment," to enlighten each participants on how to recognize the ever-changing demands of the maritime industry. Mr. Marquez addressed and emphasized the emerging trends of the current situation such as the growing number of vessels on the world merchant fleet and the target requirement for officers and engineers in the local market. Knowing such feasible scenarios generated the need for the industry leaders to set up a manning convention.

The daylong event consisted of set of presentations and topic centered breakout sessions. Breakout sessions were organized to encourage effective discussions among the participants who came in with different backgrounds, viewpoints, terminology and interests. These were six-to-seven hour working sessions focused on a certain topic, led by a facilitator and recorded by a scribe. Most breakout sessions started with the identified list of industry concerns and issues based from the position papers skewed toward helping to introduce the session's topic. The position papers (survey results /responses of the various associations to the survey questionnaire) related to the workshop theme were solicited three weeks before the workshop. 

The workshop split into five clusters, with two persons appointed to lead the discussion in each group. The five clusters were identified as Education and Training led by Capt. Teodoro B. Quijano and his co-leaders Dr. Felicito Dalaguete and Ms. Merle San Pedro, Certification and Licensing led by Commo. Adonis Donato and his co-leader Capt. Victor Del Prado, Employment Practices and Documentation led by Ms. Josephine Francisco and her co-leader Ms. Arlene Asuncion, Sustainability and Growth led by Mr. Marlon Roño and his co-leader Ms. Carla Limcaoco, and Legal and Legislative led by Atty. Imelda Barcelona and her co-leader Mr. George Guerrero. In order to create an open discussion, participants were invited in their individual rather than institutional capacities and the discussion convened in the spirit of “Workshop Creed and Rules”. The groups, as they brainstormed, had a fast paced and highly enriching session which was involving and sensible in approach. There were in-depth discussions and a considerable number of topics suggested.

The rest of the afternoon was spent in a plenary session. Each cluster leader presented position paper summarizing the discussion results during the breakout session. The results included the cluster’s position/recommendation, details of discussion, points of agreement and timetable for the suggested plan of actions. These papers along with the presentation and other materials will soon be assembled together in a final report.

The most meaningful and promising aspect of the workshop was the shaping of puzzle pieces which displayed the convention logo and the signatures of the participants as their symbolical representation of their commitment.

Philippine-Japan Manning Consultative Council President Eduardo Manese officiated the closing of the workshop. Mr. Manese thanked the participants for their valuable views and active participation throughout the workshop, which made it possible to achieve the objectives of the workshop. Special thanks were also directed to the organizing committee, facilitators’ team and the secretariat.

Taken as a whole, participants felt that the workshop had provided an excellent opportunity to share ideas, develop new links and identify areas for future action as individuals, as well as through their respective institutions, and through further collaboration. There was great interest in seeing concrete actions taken to follow-up on the many suggestions and proposals made before and during the workshop.

Indeed, this major collaborative effort set the stage for the preparation of the first Philippine Manning Convention which will be held on the 12th and 13th of November. The outcome of the workshop has significantly produced a clear set of recommended actions to a wider audience in a way likely to prompt a positive response at improving the ability to achieve the convention’s goal.