A BLUE PHILIPPINES

 

Back in 2015, Sec-Gen Koji Sekimizu appointed a distinguished batch of ambassadors for UN’s Intl Maritime Organization (IMO). They are to promote the maritime and seafaring professions and raise awareness of benefits of a career at sea.

China nominated Capt. Xu Zuyuan, president of China Institute of Navigation; Myriam Desrosiers Senatus, was nominated by the Maritime and Navigation Service of Haiti.

In 2017, Monika Breuch-Moritz was appointed after being nominated by the Germany; Capt. John McCann of Canada was endorsed by the Intl Federation of Shipmasters’ Associations.

 

Credentials.

Salinas was appointed during the 70th anniversary of IMO, a quaint coincidence he takes to mean exerting one’s best.

PTC Founder and Chairman Carlos C. Salinas accepted the honor, more to share his vision for the promotion of Filipino maritime professionals and sustain the country’s leadership in global shipping.

He founded Phil Transmarine Carriers (PTC) in 1979, and in four decades transformed it into a diversified holding company (PTC Holdings) with interests in shipping and shipping services, real estate development, energy and fuel distribution, aviation.

The Phil Government has honored him: the TIMONEL Award of MARINA; by the Transport Dept for the promotion of Phil overseas shipping and the establishment of the IMO Regional Presence for the Technical Cooperation in East Asia.

 

International.

In 1992, King Harald V of Norway, conferred the Royal Order of Merit with Rank of Commander for his “outstanding contribution to the growth and development of Philippine-Norwegian maritime relations.”

Lloyd’s Ship Manager of London gave the Lifetime Achievement and Leadership Excellence Award for his “illustrious career in shipping.”

 

Presidents.

Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo cited him the Most Inspiring Maritime Service Provider; the Filipino Shipowners Association recognized him with the Special Lifetime Achievement and Leadership award.

Pres. Benigno S. Aquino III appointed him Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Spain and the principality of Andorra.

On his first year, Ambassador Salinas was invested member of the Real Hermandad de Caballeros de San Fernando (Royal Brotherhood of Knights of Saint Fernando); in 2015, granted Honorary Fellow by the Diplomatic Academy in Spain.

On May 10, 2017, Ambassador Salinas was conferred with the Royal Award-the Grand Cross of Isabel the Catholic (Gran Cruz de la Orden de Isabel la Catolica) by King Felipe V, represented by his Excellency Luis Calvo, Spanish Ambassador to the Philippines.

This was followed in June by the 2017 Seatrade Maritime Awards Asia  and his appointment as IMO Maritime Ambassador.

 

TOMSP.

Ambassador Salinas gave an overview of his thoughts at the Ten Outstanding Maritime Students Awards (TOMSP) last September 30th.

He recalled immortal lines on the youth: “The youth is the hope of our future” (Dr. Jose P. Rizal); “I know not what the future holds, but I know who holds the future.” (Homer, Greek poet).

Hence, he feels privileged to be with “the most promising young individuals” in whose “veins flow the energy to fuel the engines of this lifeblood industry.

He considers TOMSP qualifiers “badges yearned by many, Iearned by a few.” collating it with a rhetorical question:” why is there a need to be the best and to rise above the rest? What does it take to be truly outstanding?”

 

With the best.

“(O)ur dream then was to make our country a key player in global shipping and a major provider of maritime professionals. It was a daunting task … (but) through sheer tenacity, we “emerged at par with the best in the world.

Today, there are roughly 400,000 Filipinos… comprising 25% of global maritime professionals worldwide. And Filipinos continue to be the seafarer of choice, sought after by foreign shipowners because of their competence, dedication, professionalism, service orientation, and ability to communicate in English.

With this distinction, however, comes the equal responsibility to ensure excellence and competent performance on board. This is a mindset that we need to constantly instill in the present and future generations of Filipino global maritime professionals.”

 

Clarion call.

“I encourage you to take to heart the true essence of being a maritime professional. Beyond a means to an end, a career in this industry is one that could not only change your or your families’ lives, but that of the entire nation.”

Salinas accepts the responsibility to mold our youth holistically… “it is our aspiration that our students…pursue a passion for excellence at all times and take to heart the conviction that “good enough, is never good enough”.

The ambassador calls on the youth”…to help shift this perspective and help empower generations to follow with a new way of thinking. You have the potential to innovate the infrastructure of the Philippine maritime industry and steer the sector future forward.”

Salinas closed with a famous sailor’s guide, “to let your dreams set sail. To stay anchored as you look to new horizons. To ask questions when you do not know the ropes.”

 

Special audience.

NordCham-Phil is the largest Nordic Chamber of Commerce in Asia. Last June 7th, he spoke at its Maritime Forum before the Dutch Chamber of Commerce in the Phil, German-Phil Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the EU-Phil Business Network, and the Phil Norway Business Council at Sofitel Phil Plaza hotel.

 

National agenda.

Salinas highlighted five key principles to establish a National Maritime Agenda – A Blue Philippines:

  • Protection and conservation of our aquatic resources.
  • National policy on the safe navigation of our inland waters, near coastal waters, and the main navigational areas.
  • Domestic shipping platform as a viable means to transport our goods in support of national economic development.
  • A national maritime cluster of services built around the key unit of measure – the Ship.
  • Incentives in terms of tax measures, ease of doing business in terms of documentation and certification requirements.

 

Aligned.

A product of many years at the Filipino Shipowners Association, A Blue Philippines runs parallel to the IMO’s own enhanced directions.

The 30th Assembly set the stage for IMO to carry out a seven-point strategic direction for the next five years:

1) Improve implementation.

2) Integrate advancing technologies in the regulatory framework.

3) Respond to climate change.

4) Engage in ocean governance.

5) Enhance global facilitation and security of intl trade.

6) Ensure regulatory effectiveness.

(7) Ensure organizational effectiveness.

 

Convergence.

The diplomat that he is, Salinas says, “it is important that the Members are also able to fully support the IMO’s initiatives.

He then lays the premises of “the convergence of interests.”

 

A Blue Philippines incorporates (1) A Vision for the Phil Maritime Industry as a whole, (2) Five Key Principles, and (3) Seven Action Steps.

 

The Vision.

The Philippines shall continue to ‘effectively move the world’, “encouraging the development of a fleet of safe, secure, reliable, environmentally sound, and efficient vessels, serving domestic and international markets, supporting national development, promoting stability of trade, and enhancing national security.

The Philippines will also continue to expand its role as a leading provider of global maritime professionals.

We will continue to evolve into a leading global maritime services center that will fully implement and effectively apply international standards, governance and policy development, while promoting safe and secure shipping and the protection of the marine environment.”

 

Key principles.

1) A leading intl ship registry promoting a quality, sovereign flag;

2) A leading ship building, ship repair and even a recycling destination;

3) A leading provider of global maritime professionals who are products of quality education and training.

4) A global center for maritime support services – ship management, crew management, business process management services and education and training;

5)  An active participant in global maritime research and policy development, to include the sustainability of clean domestic waters that are a source of food, minerals, trade and eco-tourism.

 

Action steps.

1) Establish a formidable research platform.

2) Enhance the role of our Maritime Administration.

3) Focus on generating inclusive growth employment opportunities within the broad maritime industry.

4)  Promote the development of a modern and integrated maritime infrastructure.

5) Promote a maritime legislative agenda.

6) Promote the development of attractive tax regimes.

7) Promote the equitable use of Cabotage laws, advancing local shipping, without unnecessarily restricting free trade.

 

Conclusion.

With the adoption of A Blue Philippines, “… We will be able to advance the industry as a whole, in all its facets.  We will be able to attract investors into our country. Our government would be able to create an investment climate and taxation scheme at par with competitive registries across the globe.

We will be able to accelerate our ability to adapt to the industry changes that are continually taking place – the move for more environmentally sustainable operations as well as the advancing disruption of further automation.”

The Renaissance Man that he is, Ambassador Carlos C. Salinas quotes Byzantine Greek philosopher and historian, George Pachymeres who saw not only the importance of shipping but its nobility and lasting impact on the world:

“Shipping is a noble activity, useful beyond all others to mankind. It exports what is superfluous, it provides what is lacking, it makes the impossible possible, it joins together men from different lands, and makes every inhospitable island a part of the mainland, it brings fresh knowledge to those who sail, it refines manners, it brings concord and civilization to men, it consolidates their nature by bringing together all that is most human in them.”

 

-o0o-

Comments

comments