Global leaders from organisations representing seafarers, shipowners and other maritime employers signed a memorandum of understanding with the Philippines’s Department of Migrant Workers on Wednesday 11 January, to form the International Advisory Committee on Global Maritime Affairs (IACGMA).
The IACGMA is composed of the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA), the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), the International Maritime Employers’ Council (IMEC), and the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF).
The creation of the IACGMA solidifies the shipping industry and Philippines government’s commitment to ensuring the welfare of its seafarers and finding solutions to the challenges ahead.
Key aims of the IACGMA include contributing to the provision of appropriate training to the country’s seafarers in compliance with the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) Convention. The IACGMA will also work to address concerns regarding ambulance chasing and unfair labour practices, and on issues related to the employability of Filipino seafarers overseas; all key areas of discussion during the group’s December meeting.
Sotiris Raptis, Secretary General of the European Community Shipowners’ Associations said: “ECSA welcomes the establishment of the IACGMA and is honoured to bring its expertise to this initiative”
International Chamber of Shipping Secretary General Guy Platten said: “The ICS look forward to collaborating with ECSA, IMEC, ITF and the Philippines Government to tackle the challenges ahead for our workforce, and to ensure a bright future for our seafarers.”
International Maritime Employers’ Council Chairman, Capt. Belal Ahmed said: “The formation of IACGMA is a massive milestone in the public-private discourse and we are confident this will lead to a new golden era for the Philippines in the maritime industry.”
International Transport Workers’ Federation General Secretary Stephen Cotton said “We welcome the steps taken by the Marcos Government to put Filipino seafarers in the box seat to be at the forefront of addressing our industry’s challenges and promoting a sustainable future for maritime professionals. We call on other governments to follow the Philippines proactive leadership that is putting the future of seafarers at the heart of discussions and decisions on the future of shipping.