President Marcos Jr. and shipping industry put seafarers at the top of the agenda at "Shaping the Future of Shipping: Seafarer 2050"

JUNE 30, 2023

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), the International Maritime Employers’ Council Ltd. (IMEC), and the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) joined forces to host "Shaping the Future of Shipping: Seafarer 2050," a summit solely focused on shaping the future of an industry that ensures seafarers remain at its heart. The summit was held on June 26 at the Conrad Hotel Manila and was chaired by PTC CEO Gerardo Borromeo. PTC supported the event as one of its Gold Partners.

Philippine President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr commended the event as an “extremely important gathering" as he addressed attendees of the summit which included employers, shipowners, and unions solely focused on prioritizing the needs of seafarers around the world.

“We are proud of the title as the seafaring capital of the world, with half a million Filipinos braving the vastness of the seas, comprising a quarter of the global maritime workforce," said President Marcos. "We are also grateful for the opportunities that our seafarers have created and are thankful for the wealth that they have brought home. I thus ensure everyone that this government will continue strengthening maritime-related policies and protecting our seafarers and their loved ones.”

He added, “As President, I reiterate my directive to the Maritime Industry Authority and the Commission on Higher Education to work closely with the shipping industry on the upskilling and reskilling of Filipino seafarers to prepare them for the shift of ocean-going vessels from using conventional fuel sources to green ammonia between 2030 to 2040. Moreover, I enjoin national government agencies, multi-layer organizers, and private stakeholders to work together in identifying strategies to ensure the availability of skilled workers to fulfill the requirements of the shipping industry. This is expected to significantly increase by the year 2050.”

Delegates examined the opportunities and challenges facing the world’s nearly two million seafarers over the coming decades, including increasing automation and digitization, and the production and transportation of future fuels. The agenda prioritized education, capacity-building, recruitment, retention, and just transition strategies to strengthen the industry’s future amidst evolving challenges.

Emanuele Grimaldi, Chairman of the ICS board, remarked, “It's the right time to put seafarers center stage. We’re delighted to have brought together the global maritime community for the first time to remind the world of seafarers’ unique value to society and to discuss solutions and opportunities for future generations."

Mr. Gerardo Borromeo, PTC CEO of Philippine Transmarine Carriers and Board Member of the Maritime Just Transition Task Force, moderated a discussion on what is required to deliver a Just and Equitable Transition which covered actions that must be taken to ensure that shipping’s response to the climate emergency puts seafarers at the heart of the solution. It also explored how the industry can achieve a safe, equitable, and human-centered approach to the transition toward a decarbonized shipping industry.
A full cultural program was prepared for delegates including an International Day of the Seafarer Gala Dinner and a Barrio Fiesta on the morning of June 25 at the historic walled city of Intramuros in Manila. The event allowed the delegates to experience Filipino culture through food, pageantry, a lecture from historical expert, Dr. Ambeth Ocampo, and special performances.


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