Philippines: Swedes Reward Filipino Seafare

Apr. 13, 2007

Manila, 12 April 2007

The Swedish Mercantile Marine Foundation rewards a Filipino seafarer

In the presence of Hon. Secretary Arturo D. Brion of the Department of Labour and Employment and H.E. Annika Markovic, Ambassador of Sweden to the Philippines, Mr. Christer Themnr – Chairman of the foundation will present a reward of SEK 25 000,00 (approx. PhP 170 000,00) and a diploma to Mr. Jesus Sumook in a simple awarding ceremony on Monday, 16 April 2007 at 5:00 p.m. at the Office of the Secretary in Intramuros, Manila.

The Foundation rewards commendable contributions or outstanding seamanship during a sea rescue operation that benefit seafarers in the Swedish merchant fleet.

On 16 November 2006 in the harbour of Helsingborg, an accident onboard the Saga Spray occurred where Mr. Sumook, a Filipino crew member from Southfield Agencies, Inc. demonstrated an exceptional sense of duty in rescuing one of the workers and saved his life after he fainted and landed down in the shaft.

The state of Sweden started showing interest for seafarers in the beginning of the 17th century. The first directions about working conditions and labour agreements were codified in the 1667 Sea Act.

In 1748, the merchant shipping regulation was issued and the first election of the Seafarers House Management was held.

Gradually, Seafarers Houses were established in many seaports. The income came from different fees. In 1911, Merchant Shipping Regulation set the fees to one percent of the salary of the staff onboard the ship.

In 1972, His Majesty the King of Sweden decided that a foundation, to be named the Foundation of the Swedish Seafarers House should be established and would take over all the assets in the local foundations. At that time, the accumulated assets had a market value of SEK 20,8 million. By the end of 2005, the value of money was SEK 124,8 million.

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