Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday commended the Associated Marine Officers’ and Seamen’s Union of the Philippines (AMOSUP) for organizing and sponsoring the 1st Institute of the Law of the Sea, a “first” in Philippine maritime and seafaring history.

Baldoz said the event, held on the theme, “The Philippine Maritime Industry:  Steering the Course Towards Global Competitiveness”, was relevant and significant as it complemented the initiatives of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to reinforce the Philippines’s position as the “Maritime Capital of the World”.

“The AMOSUP’s 1st Annual Institute on the Law of the Sea breaks ground towards greater understanding of the issues that affect Filipino seafarers,” Baldoz said,

Professor Jay L. Batongbacal of the University of the Philippines Institute for Maritime Affairs and the Law of the Sea (UP-IMLOS) opened the event with an overview on “The Law of the Sea and Filipino Shipping and Seafaring in the 21st Century.”

Representative Jesulito Manalo of the ANGKLA-Party List and Rep. Teddy Brawner Baguilat, Jr., Ifugao District Representative, delivered keynote addresses during the two-day event.

Other presentors were Gerardo Borromeo of the Philippine Transmarine Carriers who read a paper, “The Philippine Seafaring Industry: Present Potentials and Pitfalls”, and Captain Reynaldo Sabay of New Simulator, Inc. who presented “The Philippines as a Flag State: Regaining Lost Ground.  Seno Lingad of the MARINA, Law and Policy Reform Proposals for the Business Environment and the Flag Statein one of the workshops;  Ching Uranza of the International Maritime Organization hold the floor on The Philippine Maritime Industry:  Current Situation and Role in the Philippine Economy;  Ronilo Balbieran of the REID Foundation on Law and Business Concerns in Philippine Seafaring and Shipping;  Gerby Rebano and Iris Baguilat of MARLAW spoke on the theme  Law and Policy Reform Proposals for the Philippine Economy and Seafaring. Marisa Oca of the AMOSUP delivered the closing remarks.

Baldoz, in citing the event, said the DOLE’s initiatives encompass the entry into force of the International labour Organization’s (ILO) Maritime Labour Convention, 2006, regarded as the “international bill rights of seafarers and which places emphasis on decent and productive work and quality shipping and the Philippines’s Labor Law Compliance System.

The AMOSUP said that overseas Filipino seafarers account for 22.60 percent, or US 4,835 billion, of the workers (OFWs) in 2012. In 2012, 369,357 highly skilled overseas Filipino seafarers were deployed worldwide, distributes as follow:  Rating (37 percent), officers (23 percent), non-marine (36 percent), and others (4 percent).  By top 10 occupations, the majority of the overseas Filipino seafarers were deployed worldwide, comprising the majority of the seafarers manning global shipping, as able seamen, ordinary seamen, chief cook, messmen, bosuns, and a sizeable number of ship officers including mates, engineers, and more.

END      mjlc

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