MANILA - A fishing vessel carrying 7 Filipinos capsized off the coast of Brunei, the Department of Foreign Affairs said Monday. In a statement, the DFA said it is coordinating with Brunei authorities for updates on the country's joint search and rescue operations with Malaysia. Two members of the 11 ship crew of Brunei-flagged Radims 2 were rescued before search operations halted Sunday, the DFA said. The last communication between the vessel's owner and its captain was last Wednesday, August 7, according to the Embassy's Philippine Overseas Labor Office.
The United States has begun requiring visa applicants to submit details of their social media accounts, including seaman/pinoy seafarers visa applications or C1/D visa applications, as the superpower tightens vetting procedures for millions of its visitors. US embassy's visa application portal, and the added requirement to disclose the maintenance of social media accounts and to share their "identifiers." After requiring personal information, the visa application portal asks: "Do you have a social media presence? Select from the list below each social media platform you have used within the last 5 years. In the space next to the platform's name, enter the username or handle you have used on that platform. Please do not provide your passwords. If you have used more than one platform or more than one username or handle on a single platform, click the 'Add Another' button to list each one separately. If you have not used any of the listed social media platforms in the last 5 years, select 'None.'" In this order, the listed social media platforms in the portal were:, Douban, Facebook, Flickr, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, MySpace, Pinterest, Qzone (QQ), Reddit, Sina Weibo, Tencent Weibo, Tumblr, Twitter, Twoo, Vine, Vkontakte (VK), Youku, and Youtube. The Associated Press (AP) reported on Saturday, June 1, that social media requirements were added to both immigrant and nonimmigrant visa forms. The addition was proposed as early as March 2018. Citing an unnamed State Department official,The Hill said the social media identifiers "will be incorporated into a background check review against watchlists generated by the US government." Quoted by the AP, the US State Department said, "National security is our top priority when adjudicating visa applications, and every prospective traveler and immigrant to the United States undergoes extensive security screening." In the past, social media details were only required for visa applicants that the US deemed to be needing additional scrutiny. In addition to their social media histories, the AP reported that visa applicants would have to share 5 years of previously used telephone numbers, email addresses, international travel and deportation statuses, as well as whether any family members have been involved in terrorist activities. It remains unclear whether the addition to visa applications have been implemented across the world.  
Not every pinoy seaman or seafarer  may be aware that the  Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) offers an free training online program that can be accessed anywhere in the world. Many overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their families are availing of the online program, which is intended to make technical education more accessible through the use of information and communication technologies. The program offers the following courses with over 50 course categories; agriculture; automotive; electronics; entrepreneurship; heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration; human health/health care; information and communication technology; lifelong learning skills; maritime; social, community development and other services; tourism; and technical and vocational education and training (TVET). All that is needed is to complete modules and pass an assessment test.  HANDS-ON TRAINING PROGRAM  TESDA has three categories for its free skills training program for returning OFWs: reintegration, training for work scholarship program, and special training for employment program (STEP).  Reintegration provides returning OFWs and their immediate family free skills training, assessment and certification, and job referrals. The training for work scholarship program is intended for highly critical skills in the fields of agri-fishery, agri-business, agro-industrial, tourism, information technology-business process management, semiconductor and electronics, automotive, other priority manufacturing industries, logistics, general infrastructure, and new and emerging sectors.  The STEP program involves community-based training that addresses specific skills needs of communities and promotes employment through entrepreneurial, self-employment and service-oriented activities. What makes this distinct is that apart from receiving free training and competency assessment, participants are given starter toolkits after completing the program to kick-start their entrepreneural ventures.  TESDA operates 122 schools nationwide, and has partnered with 4,000 private schools nationwide. eTESDA Project Management Unit Address:      PEVOTI Building, TESDA Complex,                     East Service Road, Taguig City,                      PH 1630 Phone:         (+632) 887-7777 E-mail:  
A sea captain, ship's captain, captain, master, or shipmaster, is a high-grade licensed mariner who holds ultimate command and responsibility of a merchant vessel. The captain is responsible for the safe and efficient operation of the ship and its people and cargo, including its seaworthiness, safety and security, cargo operations, navigation, crew management, and legal compliance The captain ensures that the ship complies with local and international laws and complies also with company and flag state policies. The captain is ultimately responsible, under the law, for aspects of operation such as the safe navigation of the ship, its cleanliness and seaworthiness, safe handling of all cargo, management of all personnel, inventory of ship's cash and stores, and maintaining the ship's certificates and documentation. One of a shipmaster's particularly important duties is to ensure compliance with the vessel's security plan, as required by the International Maritime Organization's ISPS Code. The plan, customized to meet the needs of each individual ship, spells out duties including conducting searches and inspections maintaining restricted spaces, and responding to threats from terrorists, hijackers, pirates, and stowaways. The security plan also covers topics such as refugees and asylum seekers, smuggling, and saboteurs. On ships without a, the captain is in charge of the ship's accounting. This includes ensuring an adequate amount of cash on board, coordinating the ship's payroll (including draws and advances, and managing the ship's slop chest.  On international voyages, the captain is responsible for satisfying requirements of the local immigration and customs officials Immigration issues can include situations such as embarking and disembarking passengers handling crew members who desert the ship making crew changes in port and making accommodations for foreign crew members. Customs requirements can include the master providing a cargo declaration, a ship's stores declaration, a declaration of crew members' personal effects, crew lists and passenger lists.  The captain has special responsibilities when the ship or its cargo are damaged, when the ship causes damage to other vessels or facilities. The master acts as a liaison to local investigators and is responsible for providing complete and accurate logbooks, reports, statements and evidence to document an incident. Specific examples of the ship causing external damage include collisions with other ships or with fixed objects, grounding the vessel, and dragging anchor. Some common causes of cargo damage include heavy weather, water damage, pilferage, and damage caused during loading/unloading by the stevedores.   All persons on board including public authorities, crew, and passengers are under the captain's authority and are his or her ultimate responsibility, particularly during navigation. In the case of injury or death of a crew member or passenger, the master is responsible to address any medical issues affecting the passengers and crew by providing medical care as possible, cooperating with shore-side medical personnel, and, if necessary, evacuating those who need more assistance than can be provided on board the ship.   
Sabi nga nakakaisip lang daw mag business ang mga seaman kapag malakas ang alon. It is true that every seaman talks about having business instead of going onboard the ship only during rough sea and bad weather. Almost every seafarers are dreaming to have a business in order to stay for good with their loved ones. Well, this is the best time to show your business plan, as the National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO), in partnership with the Integrated Seafarers of the Philippines (ISP), will be launching business plan competition for returning OFW seafarers. They are now on its fifth year of conducting this competition to help seafarers and their families establish their dreamed businesses. “From Seafarers to Entrepreneurs: The 2019 NRCO-ISP Business Plan Competition”, a nationwide competition open to all active and inactive seafarers who intend to venture into social entrepreneurship. The competition started since 2015, the NRCO and ISP have produced four seafarer-entepreneurs who have established their businesses in their respective hometowns: 2015 winner William Gaspay (60, Chief Officer) Seaweeds Farming in Masinloc, Zambales 2016 winner Ryan Mark Antiquera (32, Able Seaman) Soft Broom Making in Manito, Albay 2017 winner Oswald Rollorazo (48, Captain) TMR Ruminan Feeds in Sta. Ignacia, Tarlac 2018 winner Nelson Mejia, Jr. (30, Captain) Metro Cebu Express in Talisay City, Cebu) This competition is open  to: Active seafarers preferably those  who are planning to retire  from sea  life and interested to venture into entrepreneurship. Inactive seafarers  who have been in the  Philippines  for not more than five (5) years and interested to venture into entrepreneurship. Participants may join the competition either in solo, in pairs or by groups (minimum of 3 members).  Competition entrants, whether individually or members of a team, must be Filipino and 25 years old or older. A qualified seafarer  who  wishes to join the competition but is  currently on duty and  is  unable to attend presentation and coordination activities related to the Competition including attendance to screening  and mentoring/coaching activities, must have at least one (1) official representative,  must be  an immediate family member,  who will handle  all the tasks and activities required in the Competition. All the submitted entries will be evaluated by the Screening and Evaluation Committee and will select Top 10 business plans. After which, the finalist will undergo mentoring rounds so they can further enhance their business plans. Finalist will defend their business plan in the Final Round. Winners will be based on the following criteria: Content of the plan including  social business idea and purpose    30 pts Impact on the community      20 pts Financial viability    30 pts Clarity and presentation of the business plan    10 pts Drive and determination of the business plan owner entrepreneur   10 pts TOTAL    100 pts Awards and Prizes include: The 2019 NRCO-ISP Business Plan of the Year   Php 500,000.00 grand cash prize (to be given in three tranches) Other Special Awards and Prizes   First Runner-up – Php 100,000.00    Second, Third and Fourth Runners-up – Php 50,000.00 each  Consolation Prize of Php 20,000.00 each for the remaining finalists  Possible grants and access to preferential business loan funding from NRCO and its partners
Working on the ship is the combination of knowledge gained from school and skills acquired from experience. Good attitude and interpersonal qualities of each crew members gives an important role to have an effective working environment on board the ship, regardless of rank/position.   Everyone should try to have an empathy to know and understand the culture, values, knowledge and skills in order to take the initial step for developing work relationship. The management level officers such as master, chief engineer, chief officer and second engineer must ensure that their subordinates are comfortable with each other both on and off work.   1.    Safety Meeting This must be conducted once a month in order to make sure safe working environment. Through this, each crew members are given the chance to share their opinions and suggestions regarding the safety concerns. This meeting gives crew also the chance to know each other which may be the initial step of developing interpersonal relationship. 2.    Coffee/Tea Break Coffee break for 15minutes-30 minutes, every morning and afternoon, is essential to talk to each other regarding both work and personal matters. This brief conversation is important to tackle about jobs needed to improve or finish. 3.    Party and Socialization Everybody likes to socialize in the party in order to know more each other. Participating in the party is a good way to improve interpersonal relationship among crew members. 4.    Sport Fest It is good to organize sport activities especially during Sundays. Management level officers may require crew members to participate in different sport games such as table tennis, dart, chess and etc. This activities will develop the importance of team building among crew members. 5.     Officer/Crew Lounge Bonding Watching movies together during free time after work is a great way of bonding to know each other and build a pleasant relationship.  
An Ordinary Seaman is the lowest rank of a ship’s deck crew. It is considered an entry-level position and comprises the main labor force on board a boat. An Ordinary Seaman is supervised by the Chief Officer and the Captain, and can be given instructions by any individuals ranked above him, the Able Bodied Seamen. An Ordinary Seaman works two four hour watches a day, seven days a week. His duties include: • Upkeep – Painting, cleaning, and polishing of ship brightwork; the collection and disposal of garbage; maintenance and repair of various types of equipment. • Cargo – Handling ropes and wires; storing and securing of items; assisting with the movement of cargo on and off the ship. • Lookout – Standing watch both in port and at sea. • Other Duties - Assisting with any aspect of the ship's operation and maintenance that the superior Seamen or Officers feel is necessary. Salary: Depending on the employing shipping company, the starting base pay for an Ordinary Seaman may start at about $1,200 a month. Seamen may also receive a 15% pay while the ship is away from its home port. An Ordinary Seaman may receive overtime pay for Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays while the ship is at sea.
Seaman Profession Salary/Compensation A seaman’s entry level salary ranges from P10,000 - P12,000 per month and may even go up to P17,000 per month for those highly-trained and experienced. Seaman abroad has a starting monthly salary of $900. Basic Educational Requirement There is a four-year course for anyone who wants to pursue a career on board. However, individuals who are not graduates of a marine course can still work on a ship, provided they undergo a 10-day training that is administered by accredited training centers. It is important to check if the training center or maritime school is CHED, or MARINA-accredited and compliant to international standards set by International Maritime Organization's (IMO) and amended Standards of Training Certification and Watch Keeping Convention (STCWC). Sea-based workers also need to undergo the Basic Safety Course (BSC), should have a valid Seafarers Identification and Record Book (SIRB) and Certificate of Competency (COC) issued by the MARINA and the Seafarer’s Registration Certificate (SRC). Cost of Education A seaman’s course may range approximately from P25,000 - P35,000 per semester in private technical schools and about P10,000 to P15,000 in public institutions. Employment Opportunities Most Seamen are employed on a passenger ship, cargo vessel, oil tanker and fishing boats. Seamen may also be employed in the following industries: Fishing, Transport, Storage and Communication, and Public Adminstration and Defense, Compulsory Social Security. Prospects for Career Advancement A seaman’s opportunity for advancement depends on the trainings and further studies he/she has completed, although most of them are aiming for an officer level position someday. Nature of Work A Seaman stands watch at bow or on wing of bridge to look for obstructions in path of vessel; measure water depth; turn wheel on bridge or use emergency equipment as directed by mate; break out, rig, overhaul, and store cargo-handling gear, stationary rigging, and running gear; and chip rust from and paint deck or ship’s structure. He must hold a government-issued certification when working aboard liquid-carrying vessels. Tasks Measures depth of water in shallow or unfamiliar waters, using leadline, and telephones or shouts information to bridge; Breaks out, rigs, overhauls, and stows cargo-handling gear, stationary rigging, and running gear; Stands watch from bow of ship or wing of bridge to look for obstruction in path of ship; Steers ship and maintains visual communication with other ships; Steers ship under direction of ship’s commander or navigating officer, or directs helmsman to steer, following designated course; Overhauls lifeboats and lifeboat gear, and lowers or raises lifeboats with winch or falls; and Paints and chips rust on deck or super structure of ship. Skills and Competencies Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits; Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance; Controlling operations of equipment or systems; and Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly. Physical Attributes and Characteristics Physically fit; Ability to see details at a distance; The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions; The ability to know your location in relation to the environment or to know where other objects are in relation to you; and The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.