Thursday, November 26, 2009

Proposed Amended Migrant Workers Act

Proposed Amended Migrant Workers Act May Seriously Affect Manning Industry - The Big Question: Will it be a boon or bane to the Filipino Seafaring Industry?

Source: Philippine Shipping Updates – Manning Industry
By Ruben Del Rosario, Managing Director, Del Rosario Pandiphil Inc.,

Background and Current Status

The Migrant Workers Act of 1995 (Republic Act No. 8042) was enacted into law in 1995 mainly to prevent illegal recruitment. Its main effect on the seafaring industry was the transfer of jurisdiction of seafarer’s claims from the POEA to the NLRC.
Amendments to the Migrant Workers Act of 1995 have now been proposed and the JMG (Joint Manning Group composed of manning industry associations) strongly disagreed with some amendments and made proposals to change some provisions. Unfortunately, said proposals of the JMG were not approved by the Bicameral Conference Committee of the Philippine Congress.
The Bicameral Conference Committee will now submit the proposed law to the House of Representatives and the Senate for approval. Thereafter, it goes to the President for signature. It becomes law 15 days from publication.

Areas of Concern to the Filipino Seafaring Industry

The major areas of concern in the proposed amendments are as follows:
A. Prohibited Act: Requiring seafarers to undergo health examinations from specifically designated clinics;
B. Prohibited Act: Requiring seafarers to undergo training from specifically designated training institution; and
C. Providing insurance coverage to seafarers in addition to the benefits available to the seafarers under the provisions of the POEA SEC and CBA.
D. Prohibited Act: To allow a non-Filipino citizen to head or manage a licensed recruitment/manning agency
E. Expansion of persons held criminally liable for prohibited acts.

A & B. Prohibited Acts: Requiring Seafarers to undergo health examinations from specifically designated clinics and Requiring Seafarers to undergo training from specifically designated training institutions

The proposed amendments state:

“Sec. 5. Section 6 of Republic Act No. 8042, as amended, is hereby amended to read as follows:
“...IT SHALL ALSO BE UNLAWFUL FOR ANY PERSON OR ENTITY TO COMMIT THE FOLLOWING PROHIBITED ACTS:
xxx xxx xxx
(D) IMPOSE A COMPULSORY AND EXCLUSIVE ARRANGEMENT WHEREBY AN OFW IS REQUIRED TO UNDERGO HEALTH EXAMINATIONS ONLY FROM SPECIFICALLY DESIGNATED MEDICAL CLINICS, INSTITUTIONS, ENTITIES OR PERSONS;

(E) IMPOSE A COMPULSORY AND EXCLUSIVE ARRANGEMENT WHEREBY AN OFW IS REQUIRED TO UNDERGO TRAINING, SEMINAR, INSTRUCTION OR SCHOOLING OF ANY KIND ONLY FROM SPECIFICALLY DESIGNATED INSTITUTIONS, ENTITIES OR PERSONS;”

An OFW (Overseas Filipino Workers) includes a seafarer. The amendments basically mean that a seafarer cannot be required to undergo his PEME / health examinations and his maritime training/schooling from clinics or maritime training institutions designated by the employer. The seafarer in effect can choose his own PEME / health examination and his own training institution. This runs counter to current practices of vessel interests to require the seafarers to undergo their PEME / health examination and training in designated clinics and training facilities.
Please note that a violation of the above prohibited acts shall make the officers of the corporation having ownership, control, management or direction of their business and the responsible employees/agents liable for the offence of illegal recruitment and shall suffer the penalty of imprisonment of 6 years and 1 day to 12 years and a fine of not less than Php1, 000,000 but not more than Php2,000,000.

C. Providing insurance coverage to seafarers in addition to the benefits available to the seafarers under the provisions of the POEA SEC and CBA.

The proposed amendment states:

SEC. 23. A new Section 37-A of Republic Act No. 8042, as amended, is hereby added to read as follows:

“SEC. 37-A. COMPULSORY INSURANCE COVERAGE FOR AGENCY-HIRED WORKERS. – IN ADDITION TO THE PERFORMANCE BOND TO BE FILED BY THE RECRUITMENT/MANNING AGENCY UNDER SECTION 10, EACH MIGRANT WORKER DEPLOYED BY A RECRUITMENT/MANNING AGENCY SHALL BE COVERED BY A COMPULSORY INSURANCE POLICY WHICH SHALL BE SECURED AT NO COST TO THE SAID WORKER. SUCH INSURANCE POLICY SHALL BE EFFECTIVE FOR THE DURATION OF THE MIGRANT WORKER’S EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT AND SHALL COVER, AT THE MINIMUM:
(A) ACCIDENTAL DEATH, WITH AT LEAST FIFTEEN THOUSAND UNITED STATES DOLLARS (US$ 15,000.00) SURVIVOR’S BENEFIT PAYABLE TO THE MIGRANT WORKER’S BENEFICIARIES;
(B) NATURAL DEATH, WITH AT LEAST TEN THOUSAND UNITED STATES DOLLARS (US$ 10,000.00) SURVIVOR’S BENEFIT PAYABLE TO THE MIGRANT WORKER’S BENEFICIARIES;
(C) PERMANENT TOTAL DISABLEMENT, WITH AT LEAST SEVEN THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED UNITED STATES DOLLARS (US$ 7,500) DISABILITY BENEFIT PAYABLE TO THE MIGRANT WORKER. THE FOLLOWING DISABILITIES SHALL BE DEEMED PERMANENT: TOTAL, COMPLETE LOSS OF SIGHT OF BOTH EYES; LOSS OF TWO LIMBS AT OR ABOVE THE ANKLES OR WRISTS; PERMANENT COMPLETE PARALYSIS OF TWO LIMBS; BRAIN INJURY RESULTING TO INCURABLE IMBECILITY OR INSANITY;
(D) REPATRIATION COST OF THE WORKER WHEN HIS/HER EMPLOYMENT IS TERMINATED WITHOUT ANY VALID CAUSE, OR, IN CASE OF DEATH, THE WORKER’S REMAINS INCLUDING THE TRANSPORT OF HIS/HER PERSONAL BELONGINGS, WITH AT LEAST FIVE THOUSAND UNITED STATES DOLLARS (US$ 5,000) COVERAGE;
(E) SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE BENEFIT, WITH AT LEAST ONE HUNDRED UNITED STATES DOLLARS (US$100) PER MONTH FOR A MAXIMUM OF SIX (6) MONTHS FOR A MIGRANT WORKER WHO IS INVOLVED IN A CASE OR LITIGATION FOR THE PROTECTION OF HIS/HER RIGHTS IN THE RECEIVING COUNTRY.
(F) MONEY CLAIMS ARISING FROM EMPLOYER’S LIABILITY WHICH MAY BE AWARDED OR GIVEN TO THE WORKER IN A JUDGEMENT OR SETTLEMENT OF HIS/HER CASE IN THE NLRC. THE INSURANCE COVERAGE FOR MONEY CLAIMS SHALL BE EQUIVALENT TO AT LEAST THREE (3) MONTHS FOR EVERY YEAR OF THE MIGRANT WORKER’S EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT;
(G) COMPASSIONATE VISIT, THE INSURANCE COVERAGE SHALL PROVIDE TRANSPORTATION FOR AT LEAST ONE (1) FAMILY MEMBER OR REQUESTED INDIVIDUAL BY THE QUALIFIED MIGRANT WORKERS TO THE MAJOR AIRPORT CLOSEST TO THE PLACE OF HOSPITALIZATION. FOR THIS PURPOSE, THE MIGRANT WORKER MUST BE MEDICALLY EVALUATED AND REQUIRES HOSPITAL CONFINEMENT FOR SEVEN (7) CONSECUTIVE DAYS OR MORE. IT IS HOWEVER THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE FAMILY MEMBER OR REQUESTED INDIVIDUAL TO MEET ALL VISA AND TRAVEL DOCUMENT REQUIREMENTS.
(H) MEDICAL EVACUATION. WHEN AN ADEQUATE MEDICAL FACILITY IS NOT AVAILABLE PROXIMATE TO THE MIGRANT WORKER, AS DETERMINED BY THE INSURANCE COMPANY’S PHYSICIAN AND A CONSULTING PHYSICIAN, EVACUATION UNDER APPROPRIATE MEDICAL SUPERVISION BY THE MODE OF TRANSPORT NECESSARY SHALL BE UNDERTAKEN BY THE INSURANCE PROVIDER.
(I) MEDICAL REPATRIATION. WHEN MEDICALLY NECESSARY AS DETERMINED BY THE ATTENDING PHYSICIAN, REPATRIATION UNDER MEDICAL SUPERVISION TO THE MIGRANT WORKER’S RESIDENCE SHALL BE UNDERTAKEN BY THE INSURANCE PROVIDER AT SUCH TIME THAT THE MIGRANT WORKER IS MEDICALLY CLEARED FOR TRAVEL BY COMMERCIAL CARRIER. IF THE TIME PERIOD TO RECEIVE MEDICAL CLEARANCE TO TRAVEL EXCEEDS FOURTEEN (14) DAYS FROM THE DATE OF DISCHARGE FROM THE HOSPITAL, AN ALTERNATIVE APPROPRIATE MODE OF TRANSPORTATION, SUCH AS AIR AMBULANCE, MAY BE ARRANGED. MEDICAL AND NON-MEDICAL ESCORTS MAY BE PROVIDED WHEN NECESSARY.
(J) RETURN OF MORTAL REMAINS. INCASE OF DEATH OF THE MIGRANT WORKER DUE TO ANY CAUSE, THE INSURANCE PROVIDER SHALL ARRANGE AND PAY FOR THE RETURN OF HIS OR HER MORTAL REMAINS. THE INSURANCE PROVIDER SHALL RENDER ANY ASSISTANCE NECESSARY IN THE TRANSPORT, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, LOCATING A LOCAL AND LICENSED FUNERAL HOME, MORTUARY OR DIRECT DISPOSITION FACILITY TO PREPARE THE BODY FOR TRANSPORT, COMPLETING ALL DOCUMENTATION, OBTAINING LEGAL CLEARANCES, PROCURING CONSULAR SERVICES, PROVIDING DEATH CERTIFICATES, PURCHASING THE MINIMALLY NECESSARY CASKET OR AIR TRANSPORT CONTAINER, AS WELL AS TRANSPORTING THE REMAINS INCLUDING RETRIEVAL FROM SITE OF DEATH AND DELIVERY TO THE RECEIVING FUNERAL HOME
THE ABOVEMENTIONED INSURANCE COVERAGE SHALL BE WITHOUT PREJUDICE TO CLAIMS UNDER THE POEA STANDARD EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT AND/OR COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT (CBA) FOR SEAFARERS.

The proposed amendment in effect requires additional insurance to be given to seafarers in addition to benefits under the POEA and/or CBA. Said insurance must be obtained from insurance companies duly registered with the Philippine Insurance Commission.
This will be an added burden to vessel interests who are already doing their best to keep their Filipino seafarers employed despite the economic recession.

D. Prohibited Act: To allow a non-Filipino citizen to head or manage a licensed recruitment/manning agency

The proposed amendments states:

SEC. 5. Section 6 of Republic Act No. 8042, as amended, is hereby amended to read as follows:
“Sec. 6. Definition. - For purposes of this Act, illegal recruitment shall mean any act of canvassing, enlisting, contracting, transporting, utilizing, hiring, or procuring workers and includes referring, contract services, promising or advertising for employment abroad, whether for profit or not, when undertaken by a non-licensee or non-holder of authority contemplated under Article 13(f) of Presidential Decree No. 442, as amended, otherwise known as the Labor Code of the Philippines: Provided, That any such non-licensee or non-holder who, in any manner, offers or promises for a fee employment abroad to two or more persons shall be deemed so engaged. It shall likewise include the following acts, whether committed by any person, whether a non-licensee, non-holder, licensee or holder of authority:

(N) TO ALLOW A NON-FILIPINO CITIZEN TO HEAD OR MANAGE A LICENSED RECRUITMENT/MANNING AGENCY .

Based on the amendment, it is prohibited to “allow” a non-Filipino citizen to head or manage a licensed manning agency. Punishment is imprisonment of from 6 years to 12 years and fine of Php1M to Php2M.

E. Expansion of persons held criminally liable for prohibited acts.

The proposed amendment states:

SEC. 5. Section 6 of Republic Act No. 8042, as amended, is hereby amended to read as follows:

The persons criminally liable for the above offenses are the principals, accomplices and accessories. In case of juridical persons, the officers having OWNERSHIP, control, management or direction of their business AND THE RESPONSIBLE EMPLOYEES/AGENTS THEREOF shall be liable.

It should be noted that those in bold capitalized letters are the amendments. Whereas before, the officers having control, management or direction of the manning agency are the ones held criminally liable, now those having ownership are also criminally liable. Even responsible employees / agents can also be held liable. Punishment is imprisonment of from 6 years to 12 years and fine of from Php1M to Php2M.

Author’s notes/comments: The world’s seafaring industry, a once Filipino-dominated circle, at least for the past decade, is no longer the reality. Let’s face the fact that formerly non-seafaring nations are rising to the challenge of seafaring – China, Vietnam, Thailand, to name a few. Of course, the Indians have always been around. We do have to satisfy our principals’ interests in order to retain a greater foothold in the industry, otherwise…

CAPT PAX SANCHEZ
PMMA GS (MMET)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Shipping sector faces emissions dilemma

The inherent difficulty in cutting both toxic emissions from ships and their global warming impact are highlighted in a new study that underlines the incompatibility of these goals. Shipping is estimated to contribute just over 3 per cent of total greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, but this only half the climate-impact story of the sector.

Because of emissions of other gases in bunker fuels, the overall effect from shipping is a cooling one not a warming one, Jan Fuglestvedt from the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research Oslo (CICERO) told Reuters. While carbon dioxide emissions from burning bunker fuel add to greenhouse gases like any other fossil fuel, the sulphur dioxide (SO2) also emitted causes water droplets to form around it in the atmosphere. This increases cloud formation and clouds reflects solar radiation back into space.

The problem is that this global cooling gas is also highly toxic. So, as efforts to clean up the poisonous emissions of ships take hold, shipping’s overall climate impact will shift from cooling toward warming, Fuglestvedt and colleagues wrote in a paper published last week in the journal Environmental Science and Technology. But the case for doing so appears compelling. A previous study estimated that toxic sulphur dioxide from bunker fuel led to the deaths of 60,000 people worldwide in 2001 from cancer and disease of the heart and lungs.

The Fuglestvedt study argues that maintaining or increasing sulphur emissions from ships to fight global warming can’t be justified. It also estimates, however, that a shift to net warming would take many decades. Even if sulphur dioxide emissions were reduced by 90 per cent in the next few years it would take about 70 years for shipping to become a net contributor to global warming, all other things being equal.

The International Maritime Organization is pushing for cuts in the sulphur content of bunker fuel to no more than 3.5 per cent from 4.5 per cent by 2012 and then to just 0.5 per cent by 2020. In busy northern European shipping channels, the limit will be just 1.5 per cent from 2010.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) signalled a move on toxic emissions from ships in March, proposing laws to lift fuel quality standards in new ships and, along with Canada, asking the IMO to create a 200 nautical mile clean-fuel buffer zone off their coastlines. Last week, the EPA published its draft rule on fuel standards to substantially cut nitrogen oxide and SO2 emissions by 2016, the New York Times reports.

The UN climate conference in Copenhagen will consider measures to bring the shipping sector into a new global agreement to cut carbon emissions. Emissions trading, fuel taxes and clean-technology innovation measures are all in the mix.

Shipping sector faces emissions dilemma

The inherent difficulty in cutting both toxic emissions from ships and their global warming impact are highlighted in a new study that underlines the incompatibility of these goals. Shipping is estimated to contribute just over 3 per cent of total greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, but this only half the climate-impact story of the sector.

Because of emissions of other gases in bunker fuels, the overall effect from shipping is a cooling one not a warming one, Jan Fuglestvedt from the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research Oslo (CICERO) told Reuters. While carbon dioxide emissions from burning bunker fuel add to greenhouse gases like any other fossil fuel, the sulphur dioxide (SO2) also emitted causes water droplets to form around it in the atmosphere. This increases cloud formation and clouds reflects solar radiation back into space.

The problem is that this global cooling gas is also highly toxic. So, as efforts to clean up the poisonous emissions of ships take hold, shipping’s overall climate impact will shift from cooling toward warming, Fuglestvedt and colleagues wrote in a paper published last week in the journal Environmental Science and Technology. But the case for doing so appears compelling. A previous study estimated that toxic sulphur dioxide from bunker fuel led to the deaths of 60,000 people worldwide in 2001 from cancer and disease of the heart and lungs.

The Fuglestvedt study argues that maintaining or increasing sulphur emissions from ships to fight global warming can’t be justified. It also estimates, however, that a shift to net warming would take many decades. Even if sulphur dioxide emissions were reduced by 90 per cent in the next few years it would take about 70 years for shipping to become a net contributor to global warming, all other things being equal.

The International Maritime Organization is pushing for cuts in the sulphur content of bunker fuel to no more than 3.5 per cent from 4.5 per cent by 2012 and then to just 0.5 per cent by 2020. In busy northern European shipping channels, the limit will be just 1.5 per cent from 2010.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) signalled a move on toxic emissions from ships in March, proposing laws to lift fuel quality standards in new ships and, along with Canada, asking the IMO to create a 200 nautical mile clean-fuel buffer zone off their coastlines. Last week, the EPA published its draft rule on fuel standards to substantially cut nitrogen oxide and SO2 emissions by 2016, the New York Times reports.

The UN climate conference in Copenhagen will consider measures to bring the shipping sector into a new global agreement to cut carbon emissions. Emissions trading, fuel taxes and clean-technology innovation measures are all in the mix.

Reality check for greener shipping!!

Despite being an economical and environmentally sound way of moving goods, the shipping industry is now forced on the defensive

IT is the most economical and environmentally sound method of moving goods around the world, an essential mode of transport that feeds and fuels the world. So how come the shipping industry has suddenly been forced on the defensive, with ship operators struggling to keep the environmental debate sensible, as this December's Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen approaches?

To believe or not: On the grounds that if something is repeated sufficiently, it becomes truth, wildly exaggerated reports of the 'research' on the harm done to human health by emissions from marine diesels are repeated, each more sensational than the last

Scarcely a day goes by without some new revelation about the shipping industry and the harm it is allegedly doing to human health. Even its technical triumphs are somehow turned against it, whether it is angry debates questioning the rationale of very large container ships - somehow becoming arguments against world trade, or a triumphant Arctic voyage being re-branded as a demonstration of global warming and melting icecaps. As the run-up to Copenhagen becomes increasingly vehement, it gets more difficult for shipping to make its voice heard. On the grounds that if something is repeated sufficiently, it becomes truth, wildly exaggerated reports of the 'research' on the harm done to human health by emissions from marine diesels are repeated, each more sensational than the last. The 'diesel death zone' around the ports where ships congregate could, according to US research, account for 87,000 premature deaths by 2012. The shipping industry, it is said, is 'in denial', its institutions ineffective and too slow at countering this menace to world health and in the case of its CO2 emissions, to life on earth itself.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Maritime Industry News

RP part of K-Line's fleet expansion plans

JAPANESE carrier “K” Line is increasing its fleet by 67% in the next four years to accommodate increasing demand and provide more business for its ship management business.
Part of the plan is to deploy more vessels calling in Philippine ports from 10 to 24 by 2010, said “K” Line Ship Management Co. Ltd. executive vice president Satoru Kuboshima at the sidelines of the carrier’s ship management seminar last week.
Kuboshima said “K” Line will add 280 brand new vessels on top of its present fleet of 420 for deployment in major trading routes.
He said the fleet expansion would also be good for the Philippine manning industry, which supplies most of the world’s seafarers.
“About 3,200 Filipino seafarers will also be employed to operate the vessels, about 1,600 officers and another 1,600 ratings. These totals comprise almost half of the estimated 7,000 seafarers to be employed for the additional ships,” Kuboshima added.
The carrier recently invested $11 million into a local training center to provide Filipino seamen as well as those from other countries access to quality maritime education and training.

Marina to Nenaco: Pay supervision fees pronto

THE Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) is demanding immediate payment of annual supervision fees (ASF) owed to it by debt-saddled shipping firm Negros Navigation (Nenaco).
The fees, unpaid since 1998, are not considered debts but taxes and are thus not covered by court protection under a rehabilitation plan obtained by the shipping line 2004, the agency said.
Nenaco, which now owes Marina P39.165 million in ASF, offered to settle the principal of P25.969 million but this was rejected by Marina.
“You can’t restructure taxes,” Marina administrator Vicente Suazo, Jr., said in an interview.
Nenaco owes creditors and suppliers more than P2.4 billion, more than P440 million of which represent unpaid taxes.
Since 2004, Marina has been scrutinizing the books of all domestic shipping lines to ensure they are financially capable of maintaining their operations.

Tanker operators, oil firms adopt wait-and-see attitude on Oil Pollution Act

TANKER operators and oil companies are holding off any action against Republic Act 9483 or the Oil Pollution Compensation Act until its implementing guidelines are released by the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina).
In a forum during last week’s Maritime Week celebration, the Philippine Petroleum Sea Transport Association (Philpesta) said, “It’s premature if we make our move now. We will make the necessary moves, including a court action, once the guidelines are released.”
RA 9483 seeks to implement the 1992 Civil Liability Convention and the 1992 International Oil Pollution Fund (IOPF) Convention. The law requires tanker operators to contribute P0.10 of freight to the oil pollution fund for every liter it delivers. It also obligates oil firms to contribute to the IOPF each time 150,000 tons of oil is delivered to them.
The tanker operators and oil firms are against the law which they describe as poorly crafted. They said it would ultimately increase oil prices, and affect all commodity prices.
Marina will soon forward the RA 9483 implementing rules to the office of Transport Secretary Leandro Mendoza for review.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Pre-shipment inspection set for oil, grains, steel


Source: Manila Bulletin, November 19, 2009



At last, something positive to look forward to by December this year. Hopefully this is not just "another" regulation. Read on...

The government is all set to implement a pre-inspection from the country of origin all bulk and break bulk cargo shipments such as oil, grains and steel among others starting Dec. 12 this year as the government is plugging loopholes against smuggling activities to enhance a sagging revenue collection.

This was contained under Administration Order No. 243-A issued by Malacañang on September 16, 2009 and after the release of the corresponding Implementing Rules and Regulations.

The Bureau of Customs will brief domestic industries represented by the Federation of Philippine Industries next week on the forthcoming implementation of the new order.

A0 243-A defines bulk cargoes as cargoes in mass of one commodity, no packaged, bundled, bottled, or otherwise packed; cargoes (dry or liquid) loaded (shoveled, scooped, forked, mechanically conveyed or pumped) in volume directly into a vessel’s hold or cargo that is unbound as loaded, without count in a loose unpackaged form.

Break-bulk cargo refers to non-containerized cargo stored in boxes, bales, pallets, or other individual units to be loaded onto or discharged from vessels; cargoes loaded individually and described in terms of quantity and weight such as steel coils, logs, sack of rice, and not in shipping containers nor in bulk as with oil or grain.

Under AO 243-A, all bulk and break-bulk (non-containerized) cargo imports have to undergo pre-shipment inspection by international bulk and break bulk cargo surveying companies and surveyors accredited by the newly-organized Committee for Accreditation of Cargo Surveying Companies (CACSC) headed by Presidential Adviser on Revenue Enhancement Narciso Santiago Jr.
The committee is composed of representatives of the BoC, Department of Finance (DoF), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and duly recognized industry associations.

The BoC is represented by Deputy Commissioner Reynaldo Nicolas and his Chief of Staff, Atty. Caesar Corpus; DoF is represented by Atty. Pedro Vicente C. Mendoza and Marceliano Bernal Jr. The DTI representative is not yet known.

The private sector is by FPI Executive Vice President, Edison Co Seteng and Angelito E. Colona of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Dr. Angel Lazaro serves as a consultant of the CACSC.

AO 243-A was issued by President Arroyo on September 16, 2009 amending AO 243 issued by Malacañang in October 2008 entitled “Creating a system for the bulk and break bulk cargo clearance enhancement program of the Bureau of Customs.” Its implementing rules were published last October 28, 2009 and takes into effect on November 12, 2009.

The amended AO was meant to comply with the World Customs Organization International Convention on the Simplification and Harmonization of Customs Procedures, otherwise known as the Revised Kyoto Convention.

AO 243-A was also issued to streamline the procedure for importations, to the country and at the same time, protect the members of the government by ensuring the correct assessment of taxes and duties on bulk and break-bulk cargo imports.

Based on the AO, the CACSC, which is under direct supervision and control of the Office of the President, has an overarching task as it has the power to grant, approve, defer, deny, suspend, or revoke the accreditation of cargo surveying companies and surveyors.

The AO also said that accredited surveying firms must be a reputable company with an international office network in the countries exporting to the Philippines and the ports of origin and engaged in the business of cargo surveying of shipments.

Under the procedure, the accredited surveyor shall issue the Load Port Survey Report after conducting a full survey of quantity and quality of the bulk and break-bulk cargo and should contain the following details: Quantity of the cargo; quality of the cargo; grade of the cargo; price or value of cargo; classification of the cargo; port of loading; name of vessel; estimated time of departure from port of loading; bills of lading; surveyor's seals details; ports of call of carrying vessel, if there is any; and such additional testing results as may be required by the BoC necessary in determining the value, tariff classification, and/or assessment of shipments covered by AO 243-A.

Any importer obtaining the services of an accredited cargo surveying company pursuant to AO 243-A and its IRR shall be allowed to file entries for the imported articles and pay the proper duties, taxes, and other fees therefore prior to arrival in the Philippine port of destination, provided that:

a. The entry contains a full and true statement of all the articles which are the subject of the importation;

b. The invoice and entry contain a just and faithful account of the actual cost of said articles, including and specifying the cost of insurance and freight and other necessary charges, and nothing has been omitted there from or concealed to the detriment of the proper revenue collection by the government;

c. The invoice and all bills of lading relating to the articles are the only ones in existence relating to the importation in question;

d. The entry, invoice, and bill of lading, and the declarations thereon, are in all respects genuine and true, and were made by the person by whom the same purportedly have been made.

As soon as they cargo arrives at the Philippine port of destination, the importer may immediately cause the discharge and withdrawal of the same from Customs premises and/or custody, provided that the declarations in the import entries are confirmed by the Port Load Survey Report, and upon presentation of the proof of payment of duties, taxes, and other fees, as well as compliance with other pre-requisites for a valid importation in accordance with pertinent and existing Customs laws, and regulations


CAPT PAX SANCHEZ
PMMA-GS MMET

Thursday, November 19, 2009

ISO standard to increase confidence in ship recycling certification

An ISO standard for bodies providing audit and certification of ship recycling management systems, will increase the safety of workers and environmental protection by facilitating independent recognition of good practice.

ISO 30003:2009, Ships and marine technology – Ship recycling management systems. Requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of ship recycling management, aims to instill confidence that the certification process has been carried out in a competent, consistent and reliable manner. The document will facilitate the recognition of accredited certification bodies and the acceptance of their certifications on an international basis.

Capt Charles Piersall, Chair of ISO technical committee that developed the standard, ISO/TC 8, Ships and marine technology, commented: “ISO 30000, which gives the specifications for ship recycling management systems is being implemented using independent third party certification *. Organizations carrying out ship recycling see certification as valuable for them, their customers and other stakeholders.

“The concern of potential environmental and human worker health and safety impact necessitates this independent certification because it provides confidence to the facility and its workers, environmentalists, the ship owner, governments, regulatory bodies and the general public that a ship recycling management system conforms to internationally harmonized requirements, is capable of consistently achieving its stated policy and objectives and is effectively implemented.

“ISO 30003 responds to the need for disseminating best practice criteria for certification bodies auditing and certifying ship recyclers.”The document is targeted at third party audit and certification bodies, but can be of value to others involved in the assessment of management systems for the recycling of ships of all types and sizes, in both international and domestic trade.

The standard:§ Provides harmonised guidance for the accreditation of certification bodies applying for ISO 30000 certification / registration§ Defines specifications for the audit and certification of a ship recycling management system complying with safety and environmental requirements§ Offers customers the necessary information and confidence about the way certification of their waste and other material handling or service companies has been granted.ISO 30003:2009 will be useful for the shipping and ship recycling industries, shipyards, ship owners, maritime research institutes, universities for maritime technology, government ministries of shipping, navy, environment and labour, port authorities, classification societies and inspection agencies.
It is part of a series of standards (ISO 30000) on ship recycling management, which promotes the safety of workers and preservation of the environment, as well as the recovery and reuse of steel and other materials and equipment.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Documentation and Processing Stage

Maximum of ten (10) days

1.The committee of recruitment advises the receptionist to the final selection of the candidates.

2.The Operation Department, thru the Crewing Manager advises the seamen and discusses the full details of the final offer notice from the principal.

3.The Crewing Manager instructs the seamen to complete and submit any additional requirement. Likewise, the seamen will provide comprehensive program of activities covering documentation and processing stage, together with some guidelines and instruction for easy reference.

4.The Crewing Manager issues Medical Examination referral slip for the seamen for immediate compliance. With utmost care, the selection and hiring of seafarers are conducted by the agency while medical examination is administered by its accredited medical clinic thoroughly. Agency must ensure that only physically qualified seafarers will be sent to the Principal's vessels.

5.The Crewing Manager, upon the receipts of the medical results, endorse the seamen top the processing section for the accomplishments of the official travel forms and documents needed for processing with the different Philippine government agencies concerned in overseas contract workers.

6.Simultaneously, the Crewing Manager instructs the seamen to authenticate their personal documents with the different agencies concerned, as per requirement/s of the principal in their country.

7.The processing section, upon completion of formalities with the Philippines agencies concerned secures the airline ticket and prepares the visa application of the seaman for filling to the embassy if necessary.

8.The processing section usually assists the seamen in the authentication of their documents by the embassy, or any business of the seamen concerning embassy matters.

9.The processing section takes charge in filling and releasing of visa and documentation documents.

10.The processing section upon receipt of the visa and documents from embassy endorses the file of the seamen to the General Manager and Crewing Manager for travel arrangement schedule.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Managing Risks and Safety of Ships: The Domestic Shipping Experience IV

CONTROLS

A. Risk Assessment

Crew involvement in the assessment of risks and hazards on their work area is one of the best control measures in the problems of crew misperceptions of outcome and over confidence - macho attitude. From the Confucius saying “Tell me I forget, show me I remember, involve me I understand”.

B. ISM

A more pro active ISM system must be established. First is the commitment from the Ship-owners and involvement by the crew. Again, Confucius saying is best fit in this system. It will be more effective if an independent party or a dedicated department will implement the safety management system. Independent party or department is more focused on implementations and will provide an unbiased evaluations and audits. A dynamic and pro active system will be achieved.

C. Onboard Trainings, Upgrading Courses and Drills

National Maritime Polytechnic 1997 – Training Needs Inventory and Career Aspirations of Domestic Seafarers On Board InterIsland Tanker Vessels.

72% preferr trainings on upgrading courses.

56% considered undergoing training as an effective measure in enhancing their skills.

49% of them preferred or resorted to self-studying or familiarizing themselves with their job on board vessels.

Reasons why they prefer self study or onboard trainings:

1. One reason is their continuous employment – with only vacation of 15 days and sick leave of 15 days wherein they normally convert to cash depending on the company’s policy.
2. Owners notion that trainings will be used as passports to transfer or leave the company for abroad.
3. Could not use motivation for career advancement due to limited path except to go foreign.

Friday, November 13, 2009

MARINE PROPULSION AND STEERING DESIGNS

A. Transverse thrust rudders
Transverse thrust rudders are used as bow thrusters in their traditional form in the bow as an aid to manoeuvring for freighters, ferries, Roll-on/Roll-off ships, dredgers, supply ships etc.

Why TT?
• Ships want to be able to manoeuver in harbours without tug assistance
• Operating in harbours with the thruster inside the ship is not sensitive to damage
• Power and size of the thruster depends on the lateral area of the ship and the intended operation
• Maneuvering aid or DP operation is important for the selection
Application Examples:
• Bulk carriers
• Cargo vessels
• Container vessels
• Cruise
• Defence
• Ferries
• Fishing
• Offshore vessels
• Service vessels
• Tankers


B. Manoeuvring propellers
Manoeuvring propellers are used as main drive units for tugs, freighters, floating cranes, dredgers, research vessels and for all sorts of offshore equipment.

C. Rudder propellers
Rudder propellers are preferably used where it is required to install an engine in a simple vessel at a later date, or where there is no room for an engine compartment, or where the greatest possible use of cargo space is wanted.
They are furthermore used on floating cranes and on working pontoons but also as main drive units for inland waterway vessels.

D. Rudder rotor
Depending on the vessel the rotor rotation characteristics can be programmed and electronically fixed for the rudder rotor according to propeller speed, speed of the vessel and rudder angle.
The rudder rotor is used wherever great rudderforces are needed--particularly when travelling slowly. An important field of application are large vessels such as tankers, bulk carriers, fast large container ships etc. on which the rudder blade cannot be designed to an optimum because of the excessive size of the vessel or high speed.

E. Azimuth Jets
Azimuth Jets installations are used in drilling ships, research vessels, pipe-laying vessels, ships for extracting raw materials from the seabed and for all other special vessels or platforms which have to maintain a fixed position without the use of anchors.

CAPT PAX SANCHEZ
PMMAGS (MMET)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

DOTC plans to integrate national transport system in 2010

The Department of Transportation and Communications plans to improve the freight-forwarding sector, although it still needs to get the supervision and regulatory powers from another agency.
Transport Undersecretary Maria Elena Bautista said the department has included the freight- forwarding industry in the National Transport Plan on the premise that the industry’s supervision will be transferred to Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) from the Philippine Shippers’ Bureau before the year ends.
The plan, which will be implemented by the next government as it will be out by 2010, is designed to charter a better and seamless transport of cargo and people throughout the country.
On the drawing board since 2006, the plan seeks to incorporate all modes of transportation and reduce the cost of doing business in the Philippines, but political issues that hounded the Arroyo administration have mired the implementation of the plan.
Bautista, who is also officer in charge of Maritime Industry Authority, said the initiative is meant to pump prime the freight-forwarding industry.
“We are including the industry” into the transport plan “with the impending transfer of supervision and regulation of the forwarding industry to Marina as there is a vacuum in the existing procedure,” Bautista said.
“Hopefully with such regulation and supervision powers given to Marina, it would be easier to have the industry included in the plan as it will be under one department with the air and rail industry,” she added.
An executive order empowering Marina to hold such powers over freight forwarders is now with the Office of the President and is expected to be signed before the year ends.
The EO will also empower Marina to regulate the charges billed by local and international shipping lines to guarantee that shippers are billed with the exact charges.
According to the plan, the government will have mass transportation, such as the elevated railway lines of the MRT and LRT connected to airports, and seaports, as well as railroad and truck holding stations for the efficient transfer of passengers and goods in the country.
Major international gateways will also be linked by railroad to the northern and southern Luzon for shippers to have a faster means of transporting their products. Truckers will also have their own holding areas for security and disposition to ease congestion in Philippine ports.
The plan involves the integration of 31 airports, 28 seaports and seven railway systems. It will serve as the core of integrated transport system in the Philippines to handle the bulk of the country’s tourists and freight service.

Trip to Taal Volcano


Hello SM People again!

Why not to Taal Volcano?

It could be exciting.

Just do not forget your bottled water.

It will be more exciting without this.

Happy trip.

Hellooo SM Guys and Dolls!

From an old sea dog passing by your port.
Wish you are all okay.
Your prof is a blog nut (ours lang).
Happy blogging.
Its Ber so... Merry Christmas and Happy New Ber (sorry, Year!!).

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Business Development

Business development means different things to different people. That's why it is appropriate to define the term beforehand. For some it simply means prospection, to others it can mean developing a new product or technology, while to others it can mean investing or divesting corporate assets. All have their own right to claim that their activity is business development, that's why it is necessary to dissect the term.
Business development is about bringing discontinuity into the normal operations of an organization. It's about bringing, doing or developing new things the organization didn't do before.

Levels of Business Development

So, business development has different levels. Those levels being product, commercial and corporate. In the next sections these levels will be explained.

Product level

At the product level business development means developing a new product or technology. Although the level of development can differ from firm to firm. The level of development can be divided into two categories: disruptive and incremental.
Incremental developments are a development which increases the functionality of an existing platform or technology, while disruptive or discontinuous developments are completely new things developed from scratch.
E.g. of an incremental continuous development are extension to already existing products like a new odour for shampoo, a digital camera with 5MIO pixels for your mobile phone, ... In both cases the platform, shampoo and mobile phone remains the same. Discontinue developments are e.g. public key infrastructure (PKI). PKI is discontinuing because it will change the way people do business and authenticate themselves in the future. The technology doesn't have a form yet, nor does it have mature value chains. PKI currently is still at the beginning of the TALC curve. It will take years before it will have a fixed recognizable form. Today PKI is mainly used in ID cards (e.g. Belgium, Malaysia), although its application is certainly not limited to it.

Commercial level

In its simplest form business development at the commercial level means prospection pure et dûr. It means hunting new customers in new segments or markets by, mostly, cold contact. The work requires a highly driven psychologically strong individual capable of handling lots of turn downs. It's certainly not suited for the faint of heart.
The next level of commercial business development is channel or sales organization setup. The channel or sales organization can consist of partners, like agents, distributors, licensees, franchisees, or your own national or international branches. Agent is the legal term used in Belgium law to denote somebody who is representing a principal in exchange for a commission on forwarded customers. In most cases these agents are called resellers, value added resellers, dealers, the latter being the functional position in your channel network.
And last we have commercial business development at the value chain level. At the value chain level business development is about developing the whole product offering. You'll find this type of business development in technology firms that have developed a platform that has to be integrated or combined with other technologies or platforms to form a whole product.
A whole product is generally composed of multiple technologies in order to make it come alive. Those technologies are generally not developed by one firm but sourced from others to save time a.o.


Corporate level

When organizations have to decide whether to make or to buy certain organizational competencies we enter the realm of corporate business development. The focus is not at the product nor the commercial level but the business, financial and legal level.
This level of business development is about mergers & acquisitions (M&A), joint ventures (JV), direct equity investment (DEI) and strategic alliances. It deals with business portfolio analysis, corporate finance, contract law, fiscal law, social law , anti- trust law, change management, culture management...
Organizations can have multiple motives to buy organizational competencies. Examples are: time to market market entry barriers, patent protection, legal constraints, business or proposal complementation, cash flow and profit diversification, ...

Conclusion

From the descriptions above it becomes very obvious that there is not one single meaning of business development. Each level has its own focus and requires different competencies, skills and backgrounds.

Ship Management

The ever-changing environment of ship management is becoming increasingly complex. Latest Ship Management report examines the principal components of the market and the implications of third party management.

The nature of ship ownership
The implications for ship management
The market for third party ship managers
Commercial management
Technical management
Administration Training
Product Description

Manpower availability and costs Management issues relating to crew matters The R&M regime Management issues relating to R&M or ship equipment matters Procurement regimes and management issues relating to the stores and supplies budget Management issues relating to insurance Regulatory issues Risks and proactive approaches.

Move towards third party ship management

The Ship Management report provides key insights into the industry and the future growth of the market. Its data and analysis include:
Ship owners and concepts of risk management
Commercial and technical management - the options for outsourcing
Third party ship management and questions of liability - including the ISM Code, ISPS and Marpol as well as growing levels of national or regional legislation. The market for third party ship managers - management quality and difficulties of product differentiation.

Main findings

Ship Management report provides an independent and detailed assessment of the ship management market, analyzing the main areas of management, how it aligns with the overall risk management evaluation and the options for outsourcing. Focusing on the implications of ship management and the market for third-party ship managers, the report assesses the nature of ship ownership, commercial management, technical management, administration and training.

The nature of ship ownership.

Describing the various ship owner types and multiplicity of the shipping business, it identifies the areas of risk management. Providing an overview of both commercial and technical management, it reports the options for third party management and questions of liability.


Commercial management

This section examines the shipping market and its economic cycles, the impact on ship chartering and differences across industrial sectors. It also monitors and measures the fundamentals of the freight market and rates. The report also analyses key ship running costs and the influence of the forward market, the new building market and the demolition market.


Technical management

Focuses on the availability and costs of manpower and key management issues relating to the crew alongside an evaluation of the ship repair and maintenance regime - including classification requirements, equipment recommendations and policy choices and fuel-related issues. Technical management also has a remit covering areas such as procurement policy and the stores and supplies budget, insurance, regulatory requirements and response planning.

Administration

An analysis of the key activities associated with shipping companies covering the unavoidable and the optional as well as the core administrative needs within a ship management company.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Recession reports - No immediate recovery seen for shipping firms

Industry officials said that the prospects for shipping companies will remain bleak for another 12 to 18 months because the exim trade is not yet out of the woods and there is still a glut of vessels available.

According to a senior official of an Indian shipping firm, earnings from shipping will remain subdued as global economies have shown narrow improvement.

The global financial crisis saw freight rates plunging by as much as 94 per cent in a matter of 8 months in 2008, leaving shipping companies in the red and forcing some of them to cancel orders for newbuilds.

Exports have fallen for 12 straight months and any recovery in higher rates for transportation is still far away. Shipyards are expected to deliver nearly 37 per cent of the current capacity in the months ahead, thereby adding pressure to freight rates.

Africa adopts harmonized maritime transport charter

NAIROBI: Africa is moving towards a harmonized maritime transport charter that will apart from building trade capacity see a united approach to industry threats such as piracy.

This follows the adoption of the African Maritime Transport Charter at the Second African Union Conference of Ministers Responsible for Maritime Transport, under the theme "Creation of a safe, secure and clean maritime transport industry", held in Durban, South Africa.

Director General of the Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA) Nancy Karigithu said in a statement issued in Nairobi on Sunday that the adoption of the charter would boost the maritime sector in Africa and propel the continent towards world class shipping and maritime trade standards.

"As a continent we must take the firm view that we cannot talk maritime transport outside of economic development and growth of the sector. The maritime transport sector in Africa is a giant that is waking up. African maritime transport has the capacity to grow our economies and create millions of jobs," said Karigithu.

Dubai Star Faces Lawsuit

Owners of Dubai Star, the oil tanker that caused an oil spill in the San Francisco bay area, are facing a lawsuit for $10 million (Dh36.7m) by US fishermen and the owner of a local food processing company. The suit filed by crab fisherman Mark Russo, herring fisherman Ron Alioti, and Next Seafood Company owner Russell Robinette, seeks compensation for alleged loss in business due to fall in fish prices as people refused to buy fearing contamination from the oil spill. The class action suit was filed in the San Francisco Federal Court.
Speaking to Emirates Business, Ram Moorthy, General Manager, Pioneer Ship Management Services Company, the technical manager of Dubai Star, said he is aware of the litigation and the company's attorneys in the US are looking at the lawsuit. Fishing in the area was suspended following the oil spill.
"We cannot give more information until the operations are over. We are aware of the $10m lawsuit filed by fishermen in San Francisco. We have our attorney there and our guys are on the work," Moorthy said.
Khamis Juma Bu Amin, CEO of Regional Clean Sea Organisation (Resco), said: "We don't have details of the oil spill case. If there is an environmental impact in US territorial waters, there are stringent rules there. That can add to the total claims. However, the insurance coverage will depend on whether the ship was carrying crude or bunker oil FOB or CIS. These things will be decided only after thorough investigation."
The defendants include Dubai Star, South Harmony Shipping, Pioneer Ship Management and Heidmar.

Source: Emirates Business

K Line Invests in ZESCO

Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd. (“K” Line) is pleased to announce that a JVA in ship repair business has been signed with the joint venture company between Hanjin Shipping and Shunhe Shipping of Zhejiang Eastern Shipyard Co., Ltd. (ZESCO), a shipyard in Zhejiang Province by accepting ZESCO’s increase capital for third parties together with Shanghai Changjiang Shipping (Sinotrans group).
ZESCO is located in a northern part of Zhoushan islands, Zhejiang Province, occupying total area of 550,000m2 with 1,900m length of coastline. It has capacity of 150 vessels per year, equipped with two large graving docks (one of which can accommodate 300,000dwt class VLCC or VLOC and the other can accommodate CAPE-size), hull workshop (13,000m2), one repair berth, painting workshop and mechanical-electrical workshop. In addition, ZESCO plans to construct second repair berth and third graving dock. The graving dock facilities and one repair berth were completed and full operation started in early April 2009. 24 vessels have already docked in ZESCO and another 16 vessels are expected to dock in by the end of this year. “K” Line secures certain repair slots at ZESCO as a main shareholder and user. ZESCO is located very conveniently near Shanghai Yangshan, and can accommodate all kinds of vessels (not limited to containerships) without any narrow navigation restriction on the river.

South Koreans Overtaken by Chinese Shipbuilders

South Korean shipbuilders were outpaced by their Chinese rivals in the number of new orders received this year and order backlogs, according to a London-based market researcher Friday. Korean shipbuilders such as Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. and Samsung Heavy Industries Co. won a combined 1.64 million compensated gross tons (CGTs) in new orders in the first 10 months of the year, accounting for 31.8 per cent of all new global orders, said Clarkson Research Studies, a division of Clarkson PLC, the world's leading shipping services provider.
New orders at Chinese shipyards totalled 2.70 million CGTs during the cited period, accounting for 52.3 per cent of the total, Clarkson said.
In October alone, South Korean shipyards won 214,825 CGTs, while Chinese companies received 233,265 CGTs, according to the researcher.
Market watchers said Chinese shipbuilders have gobbled up new orders at cheap prices, while South Korean shipbuilders have continued to focus on high-priced vessels and offshore facilities.
South Korea, home to seven of the world's top 10 shipyards, has clinched record-high orders in the past few years on strong demand for crude carriers and offshore exploration equipment amid lofty oil prices.
But orders for new vessels have sunk since the third quarter of last year, as the credit crisis and the subsequent global recession have prodded companies to postpone delivery dates or cancel orders.
South Korea also yielded the top position to China in the global shipbuilding industry in terms of order backlogs, according to the researcher and industry sources.
South Korean shipbuilders' combined order backlogs totalled 53.62 million CGTs as of the end of October, compared with Chinese rivals' 54.96 million CGTs, they said.

Source: Yonhap

Russia's Foreign Trade Down

08 November 2009 rusian_thumb.jpgRussia's foreign trade decreased by 43.9% year-on-year to $321.4 billion in January-September 2009, the Federal Customs Service said in a statement on Friday. Foreign trade surplus dwindled to $91.7 billion year-on-year in the reporting period.
The customs service said Russia's trade with non-CIS countries amounted to $274.4 billion (down 43.7%), while trade with CIS states stood at $47 billion (down $45%) in January-September.
Russia exported $206.6 billion worth of products in the first nine months of 2009, down by 44.3% against the same period of last year.
The decrease in exports was caused by a plunge in prices for Russian commodity exports in late 2008.
Imports to Russia reached $114.8 billion in the reporting period, down 43.1% against the first nine months of 2008 due to a decrease in the amount of imported goods. This is clearly bad news for the shipping sector.

Source: Bloomberg

Jobless in the U.S.

08 November 2009 - us_flag_kali.jpgThe U.S. jobless rate unexpectedly jumped to a 26-1/2-year high of 10.2 percent last month, adding to pressure on the Obama administration to do more to tackle unemployment even as signs of recovery mount. The Labor Department said on Friday that employers cut 190,000 jobs in October, more than the 175,000 markets had expected but fewer than the 219,000 lost in September.
Taking some of the sting out of the report, job losses for August and September were revised to show 91,000 fewer jobs were lost than previously reported.
While that hinted at some improvement in labor market conditions, economists had looked for the jobless rate to rise to 9.9 percent from September’s 9.8 percent.
“Unfortunately, the problem is becoming deeper and more protracted,” Mohamed El-Erian, chief executive of bond giant Pacific Investment Management told Reuters. “It’s not just the increase in the headline number. ... It’s also about the longer-term nature of unemployment, the increase in underemployment, and the prospect for only a very gradual recovery.”
Stocks erased early losses on the heels of the report, somewhat heartened by a lessening in the pace of monthly job losses. The report lifted prices for U.S. government bonds and the flight to safer assets initially boosted the U.S. dollar, but it later fell back.
President Barack Obama has called job creation priority No. 1, but his scope to take further steps to lift the economy is limited by record budget deficits.

Spain Refuses Pirates' Demands

08 November 2009 - piracy.jpgSpain refuses to free two captured pirates as demanded by fellow brigands holding a Spanish trawler and 33 crew members off Somalia and reportedly threatening to start killing hostages. Deputy Defense Minister Constantino Mendez said Friday the two Somali men were captured and brought to Madrid because of their alleged role in the hijacking of a Spanish-flagged vessel _ the tuna boat Alakrana, on Oct. 2 in the Indian Ocean.
Refering to their being held in custody, he told Spanish National Radio: "The situation is not negotiable."
However, he seemed to leave open a possibility of transferring them to the court system of another country, as Spain did in a similar case in May.
Pirates holding the Alakrana took three crew members ashore to Somalia on Thursday, the Defense Ministry said.
The wives of two crew members who spoke to their husbands Thursday said the pirates are demanding the release of the two in custody in Madrid as a condition for letting the ship and its crew go.
On Thursday night, the skipper of the Alakrana, Ricardo Blach, told Spanish television the heavily armed pirates on board had threatened to kill the three crew members taken ashore if there was no progress in freeing the two men.
"They told us an hour ago that if there is no movement relating to those who are in Spain, then they would begin by killing those three in three days' time, and then they would take another three, and so on," Blach said.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

SIRB RENEWAL WOES


Seafarer’s Identification and Record Book Application Now Made Easier

As part of its 10-point program the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) partnered with Pilipinas Teleserv, Inc. to make the application and processing of the Seafarer’s identification and Record Book (SIRB) easier and more convenient.

Teleserv developed the SIRB Express Application System (SEAS) in collaboration with MARINA developed more convenient option for seafarers who need to apply for a SIRB without having to go to the MARINA SIRB Processing Center. The service covers both SIRB application and renewal.

Starting March 16, 2009 seafarers have the option to call the SEAS Hotline at 737-7-737 or log onto the SEAS Online Application Website at www.sirb.com.ph to start the application process. The SEAS service will initially be available in Metro Manila only.

SEAS services also include an onsite delivery option for those seamen who opt to come to the MARINA office. The SIRB Drop Box System are for those who are present inside the Marina office but do not want to wait in line. They can endorse their application to MARINA and wait for their new SIRB to be delivered to them. On the other hand, the SIRB Express Delivery are for seamen processed their SIRB onsite but choose not to wait for its release. They also can have their new SIRB delivered to their homes.

It's Easy and Convenient
Get your SIRB with utmost convenience. No need to travel or wait in line, we'll pick up your documents, process your application, and deliver your new SIRB. Enjoy more time with the family.

Hope this service eases out a bit the perennial congestion at the 3rd flor of the MARINA office.

CAPT PAX SANCHEZ
PMMA-GS (MMET)

SHIP MANAGEMENT TECHNIQUES

Ship-management techniques have been coming into---and going out of---style since Themistocles whipped the Persian fleet at the Battle of Salamis in 480 B.C. Yet, through all the changes over the years, three important aspects of running a ship remain unchanged. If Themistocles could board a ship today, he'd recognize the dynamic between the captain, officers and crew of a well-managed ship as the same that worked in his day.

Establish Your Presence

1. Post a sign in your wheelhouse reading, "Rule Number 1: The Captain is always right; Rule Number 2: If the Captain is wrong, see Rule Number 1." Those who see the sign might chuckle at this humorous reminder of your status; chuckle with them. Never forget, though, that you are not part of the crew. Maintaining the "magisterial gulf" between yourself and the people whose lives you may have to risk or spend for the mission, or for the safety of the ship and the other crew members, is the first rule of effective crew management.

Communicate and Encourage Communication

2. Let the ship's officers run their departments, but make sure they understand what you want---and make sure it happens. Depending on the results, remember that the adage applies: praise in public; reprimand in private. Never miss an opportunity to praise the efforts of a department or an individual crew member. Find some reason---at least once a week---to tell the crew how well they've performed. Eventually, top performance becomes an expectation and the results will be surprising. Be sure your bridge watches can communicate effectively. Be proactive about encouraging every officer and member of the crew to ask questions and speak up on any subject. The Exxon Valdez ran onto Bligh Reef in Prince William Sound, Alaska, because the master didn't advise the watch officer that he had turned on the autopilot. The quartermaster might have seen that the autopilot was on, but he couldn't turn it off because he wasn't an officer and, since an officer had turned it on, he didn't advise the watch officer. The watch officer, unaware of the situation, gave steering orders to avoid the reef, but the autopilot over-rode the movements of the wheel.

The Captain Always Knows What to Do Whether He Does or Not

3. The most important ship-management technique is confidence. Regardless of personal feelings or emotions, you must show confidence in yourself, your officers, your crew and your ship. You set the tone for the ship; if you're visibly worried about a storm, the crew will pick up on it and worry as well. If crew members are worried about something other than their duties, it might be that you forgot to play your part.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.....

Managing Risks and Safety of Ships: The Domestic Shipping Experience IV

CONTROLS

A. Risk Assessment

Crew involvement in the assessment of risks and hazards on their work area is one of the best control measures in the problems of crew misperceptions of outcome and over confidence - macho attitude. From the Confucius saying “Tell me I forget, show me I remember, involve me I understand”.

B. ISM

A more pro active ISM system must be established. First is the commitment from the Ship-owners and involvement by the crew. Again, Confucius saying is best fit in this system. It will be more effective if an independent party or a dedicated department will implement the safety management system. Independent party or department is more focused on implementations and will provide an unbiased evaluations and audits. A dynamic and pro active system will be achieved.

C. Onboard Trainings, Upgrading Courses and Drills

National Maritime Polytechnic 1997 – Training Needs Inventory and Career Aspirations of Domestic Seafarers On Board InterIsland Tanker Vessels.

72% preferr trainings on upgrading courses.

56% considered undergoing training as an effective measure in enhancing their skills.

49% of them preferred or resorted to self-studying or familiarizing themselves with their job on board vessels.

Reasons why they prefer self study or onboard trainings:

1. One reason is their continuous employment – with only vacation of 15 days and sick leave of 15 days wherein they normally convert to cash depending on the company’s policy.
2. Owners notion that trainings will be used as passports to transfer or leave the company for abroad.
3. Could not use motivation for career advancement due to limited path except to go foreign.