In recognition of the crucial role that our Filipino seafarers play in the growth of the Philippines as a maritime country, former President Fidel V. Ramos issued on July 9, 1996, Proclamation No. 828 declaring August 18 as National Seafarers Day (NSD). However, after Presidential Proclamation No. 1094, series of 1997, the NSD was moved to every last Sunday of September.
The celebration for the opening of the 24th National Maritime Week and the 28th National Seafarers Day on Sunday, September 24, 2023, was commemorated with a solemn fluvial procession, a memorial, and wreath-laying for deceased and missing seafarers at Cebu Ferry Passenger Terminal 2.
This was followed by a foot procession and maritime parade to JSU-PSU Mariners’ Court participated by manning agencies, training centers, shipping companies, and maritime schools such as UC-METC, UC-LM, UV Maritime College, Concord, CTU-Carmen, and SCSIT.
Stella Maris Seafarers’ Center-Cebu also celebrated its 16th annual fiesta in honor of Our Lady Star of the Sea. A holy mass was presided by Msgr. Joselito Tajanlangit together with Rev. Fr. John C. Mission (National Director of Stella Maris - Philippines and Apostleship of the Sea-Stella Maris Cebu Chaplain), Fr. Rolly Tabo (Coast Guard Chaplain), and other priests who came to visit.
A series of inspirational messages were given in the afternoon, starting with Engineer Emmanuel B. Carpio, Ph.D, the regional director of MARINA 7, followed by Commodore Agapito B. Bibat, commander of PCG-Central Visayas District; Attorney Karl Frederick L. Arriola, OIC-regional director of DMW 7; Niño Mike D. Torrevillas, inspector of ITF Workers Federation; Reynaldo B. Jacalan, OIC-regional director of OWWA 7; and Francisco Commendador III, general manager of CPA.
Prior to the celebration, Stella Maris–Cebu organized various activities such as the pilgrim visit of the Image of Our Lady of the Star of the Sea to various maritime institutions, friendly basketball games between the Coast Guard and Stella Maris Seafarers, a seminar on “Financial Planning for the Fast-Changing World” conducted by Captain Christopher Cervantes, a gathering of seafarers and their families by the Overseas Workers Welfare Association 7 (OWWA), novena, and holy mass.
As part of the festivities for the 24th National Maritime Week Celebration, the entire staff of the CPA Port Police joined the Maritime Exercise organized by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Central Visayas and the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA 7) on September 27, 2023, at Pier 5.
The primary objective of the maritime exercise was to enhance the coordination and cooperation among Cebu's maritime enforcement organizations. This was achieved through various activities such as communication exercises, maneuvering drills, security and safety procedures, search and rescue operations, and the application of standard maritime law enforcement protocols. Additional events and activities have been planned for the National Maritime Week.
Filipino seafarers play a pivotal role in the global maritime industry, offering their expertise and dedication to various facets of international shipping. Their contributions to the industry extend beyond mere labor, impacting global trade and commerce by ensuring the timely delivery of goods and raw materials across oceans.
Filipino seafarers are indispensable to the world, underpinning the functioning of international shipping, trade, and maritime safety while making valuable contributions to multiple dimensions of global society. (SPONSORED CONTENT)