Philippines: Labor dept to create Maritime Office

Jun. 14, 2007

MANILA– To speed up assistance to the maritime industry particularly in addressing the concerns for Filipino seafarers, Labor and Employment Secretary Arturo D. Brion is set to create a maritime office under his direct supervision.

Brion said that the Maritime Office will be manned by a full time maritime officer, LCDR Eustacio Nimrod Enriquez who is currently serving as Deputy Executive Director of the National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP) in Tacloban.

Earlier, the labor chief met with stakeholders in the maritime industry to formulate a joint action on how to approach common concerns in the industry.

Brion said the Maritime Office will be at the frontline in carrying out collaborative efforts of DOLE and its partners in the maritime industry.

He said that Enriquez will soon transfer to the DOLE in Intramuros, Manila for full time work as his assistant on maritime affairs.

The creation of the Maritime Office is essential in view of the developments in the maritime sector, Brion said adding that Enriquez will assist him particularly in taking advantage of those developments that would be beneficial to Filipino seafarers.

He cited the training facility of one of the world’s largest shipping companies, the Danish Maersk Lines, which was launched recently in Ozamis City in collaboration with the Northwestern Mindanao Institute of Technology (NMIT).

Brion said that the facility provides special training on the culinary arts particularly Danish cooking in view of the fact that Danish chefs are getting older and set to retire in the near future.

“To take advantage of such developments, our seafarers and cooks will only have to undertake formal training in culinary arts,” Brion said noting that the current crop of Filipino chefs in the maritime sector only learned cooking through experience.

With the Maersk-NMIT culinary training school, he said that Filipinos can obtain formal culinary training and subsequently look forward to a maritime career position as Chief Steward.

He also said that the training facility has already trained Filipinos as sea-based chefs and cooks.

Filipinos were the facility’s first trainees which only indicates the continuing preference of the global maritime industry for Filipino seafarers, Brion said. (PIA Dispatch)

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