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Saturday, September 22, 2018

Corporate Social Responsibility highlighted at Manila Manning and Training Conference

The seventh Asia-Pacific Manning and Training Conference this week in Manila, had as its theme "Corporate Social Responsibility & Strategies to Meet Industry Challenges", and brought together regional and international companies and organisations.


The President of the Filipino Shipowners' Association and President and CEO of Philippine Transmarine Carriers Inc., Carlos Salinas, provided the keynote address. In this he gave an overview of the factors affecting seafarers today – from concerns over adequate supply, to the regulatory pressures and other burdens placed on them – as well as a comprehensive review of Corporate Social Responsibilities, the implications for owners and companies and the multi-level challenges. A copy of his speech will be made available at a later date.


INTERTANKO MD Peter Swift in his presentation (click here to view) focused on the tanker industry's leadership in many fields of social responsibility. He highlighted the industry's commitment to the safety and well-being of its sea staff, to the protection of the environment, and to continuous improvement in all that it does. He cited the industry's recent performance and said it was a record to be proud of, but that there was still no room for complacency.


Swift spoke of the initiatives being taken to develop environmentally sound recycling, the acknowledgement of, and attention being given to, the critical need to reduce harmful engine emissions and the challenges faced in finding practical solutions to the management of ballast water.


Swift noted that tanker owners were well aware of the shortages that were developing in the availability of properly trained officers and spoke of the training and skills assessment programmes that were being introduced. Tanker owners, he said, were also especially concerned over the unfair and unjust treatment that seafarers regularly face – not only with unjustified detentions after accidents, but in routinely being denied shore leave and access to and across terminals. He said that tanker owners were particularly incensed by the increasing tendency to criminalisation, especially in the case of accidental pollution, and outlined the many counterproductive effects that this has been having on the industry at large.


He reminded the audience that INTERTANKO members, together with INTERCARGO members and a few other like-minded organisations, have demonstrated their commitment to stand up for their staff (afloat and ashore) and to challenge the European Directive that would criminalise accidental spills not only in coastal waters but on the high seas.


Swift observed that the tanker industry also understands that it has a social responsibility to ensure the quality of the governance structures of its industry and outlined various approaches that are being taken to assist the development of effective, fit-for-purpose legislation and regulations which have been properly considered and assessed and which, if adopted, would be implemented promptly and uniformly.


In parallel he said that the industry sought to implement self-regulation through the introduction of guidelines, policies and procedures built around industry best practices. While owners recognised their responsibilities, he said that owners similarly hoped that governments and their agencies would live up to theirs.


The Poseidon Challenge, he noted, was a further example of the tanker industry taking the initiative in bringing partners together and committing to continuous improvement.


A copy of a pre-conference submission is available here.


Contact: Peter Swift