More than four hundred delegates representing the interests of manning agents, local and foreign ship owners, seafarer unions, professional organization for deck and engine officers, maritime schools, training centers, maritime lawyers, marine travel agents and local P&I correspondents gathered in One Esplanade, Pasay City for the first ever convention in the manning industry dubbed as Philippine Manning Convention 2007 last 12-13 November 2007 with the theme “Joining Hands to Meet the Global Demand for Filipino Seafarers”.

The official opening kicked off with the Convention Chairman Engr. Sammuel T. Lim who is also the President of Filipino Association for Mariners' Employment, Inc. (FAME), welcoming everyone with enthusiasm and got it all off on the right foot, as he briefly enlightened all delegates on the clear picture of what the convention is all about. The two-day long program consisted of a one-of-a-kind lineup of nationally recognized speakers ranging from government officials, heads of ship owners associations and leaders from the maritime industry including the Secretary of the Department of Labor and Employment, Hon. Arturo Brion, as keynote speaker. 

The convention consisted of sessions on crew welfare, maritime education & training, certification & licensing, documentation & employment practices, legal & legislative and sustainability & growth with series of paper presentations on the action plans of respective government speakers to the issues identified during the Pre-Convention Workshop last 03 August 2007. Each session was then followed by a question and answer portion providing delegates the opportunity to experience a lively and interactive discussion. 

The second day of the convention featured the ship owners group who respond keenly to the present situation of the Philippine Seafaring Industry and at the same time exchanging views and points on the current trends and developments in the global fleet. 

Representing the Joint Manning Industry Group, Mr. Ericson Marquez delivered the Philippine Report: A Consensual and Strategic Approach which undeniably received an overwhelming response from the delegates. The report showcased what the joint manning industry group has done to deal with the officer shortage and what the group expected from the government and ship owners. 

To keep the spirit alive, a Joint Industry Partnership Rites was carried out on the last part of the convention in which the heads of the Joint Manning Industry Group, the Ship owners Group, the Philippine Government as well as the delegates linked arms as they all together sing and sway to the tune of “Tagumpay Nating Lahat”, a musical composition dedicated to all finest Filipino seafarers who are treated as heroes and pride of our nation. 

The convention closed with a message from Department of Labor and Employment Sec. Arturo Brion declaring the successful staging of this historic convention which proved to be a testament to the current commitment of the Philippine’s Joint Manning Industry Group as they have joined hands in tackling all the issues affecting the industry in a result-oriented approach under a responsible partnership among seafaring industry players. As a form of entertainment, a cocktail party sponsored and hosted by SMART followed, highlighting some of the celebrities, singers and band in town, and at the later part, declaring the lucky winner of the raffle prize. 

Similarly, this convention has served an avenue for the industry to showcase their participation through convention sponsorships. Huge thanks to all the bighearted support of the sponsors, the delegates were provided with a memorable convention experience. With 23 exhibit booths, the delegates were given an opportunity to meet with companies that represent the newest and innovative products and services for the maritime industry. 

Without a doubt, the convention’s fruit of labor has produced the important momentum as the Chairman leaved a challenging message -- this is just the start but a start no less and gets the Philippine officer-production line running “full speed” ahead. Building on this year’s success, the Philippine Manning Convention Team is already planning ways to make the Philippine Manning Symposium another banner year. Mark your calendar as earlier now and don’t forget to check back at this site for all latest convention developments.