Established in 1950, the FILIPINO SHIPOWNERS ASSOCIATION (FSA) is composed of twenty-nine (29) shipping companies which own, manage, operate and/or charter Philippine flag ships for overseas trade or are engaged in maritime related activities.
Through the years the FSA has remained committed to the development of the Philippine overseas shipping industry. It has played an instrumental role in the creation of government agencies in the Philippines, such as the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) and the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), and works closely with the government to further develop the maritime industry.
FSA members are involved in overseas shipping and participate in the transport of the country’s trade. Philippine flag ships give stable employment to Filipino seafarers and earn foreign exchange in the form of freight in the carriage of global trade and in managing Philippine-flag vessels.
Through the years, the FSA has been the primary voice of the private shipping industry.
Barely four years from its inception, FSA became a force in spearheading the growth of the Philippine overseas shipping industry. The passage of Republic Act No. 1407, otherwise known as the Philippine Overseas Shipping Act of 1955, and the enactment of RA 1909, or the Philippine Interisland Shipping Act of 1956, were facilitated through the active support of the FSA. The issuance of the Ship Mortgage Decree of 1978 was spearheaded by FSA.
The FSA also initiated improvements in maritime education with the view of ensuring the availability of officers and crew needed by the industry. It has worked closely with the Professional Regulations Commission (PRC) in upgrading the training and qualification of our seafarers, specifically, by computerizing the conduct of licensure examinations for seafarers and the correction of papers by the PRC, with the ultimate goal of being able to hold walk-in examinations.
Furthermore, the FSA was in the forefront in the enactment of RA 7471 otherwise known as the Philippine Overseas Shipping Act. The said law specifically enabled shipowners to upgrade their fleet by allowing them to get foreign funding in their purchase of ocean-going vessels. It is constantly working for revisions of the shipping rules and regulations to make them more relevant and responsive to the needs of shipowners in the light of the trend towards globalization. The Association was also instrumental in the revision of the Philippine Merchant and Marine Rules and Regulations (PMMRR).
It was likewise the catalyst in the issuance of Executive Order 396 issued by former President Fidel V. Ramos, which designated MARINA as the Flag Administration tasked to implement the provisions of STCW 95. It was also deeply involved in seeing to it that the Philippines, as it eventually did, land in the IMO’s White list.
FSA was also responsible for the issuance of Executive Order 438 issued by President Ramos which extended the Bareboat Charter Program to the year 2009.
It has co-sponsored the Joint 2000 National Shipping Congress, which seeks to revive the goal of the shipping industry to promote and develop all sectors of the maritime industry. It is even supporting legislation for a National Seafarers Act that will promote the welfare of Filipino Seafarers.
The FSA was likewise responsible for the issuance by former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada of Executive Order No. 93 which reaffirmed the role of MARINA with regards to STCW implementation. It has also collaborated with MARINA in drafting the proposed Ship Mortgage Law and the amendments to the Philippine Overseas Shipping Development Act the latter having been passed by Congress in May 2004 and signed into law by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as RA 9301. It has also worked for the retention of the tax incentives for the importation of ships, fuel, equipments and supplies. It is a member of the DOTC’s Multi-Sectoral Task Force on Maritime Development and also a member of the Board of Governors of the National Maritime Polytechnic. It participated in the drafting of the BIR Circular on the VAT exemption of overseas shipping companies in the Philippines.
In regional and international maritime conferences, FSA continues to play an active role in representing the country and articulating the country’s stand on various shipping issues.
The FSA is a member of the Federation of ASEAN Shipowners Association (FASA). FSA joins its counterparts in Brunei, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam in formulating and implementing various maritime projects to expand intra-regional co-operation. The 28th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Federation of ASEAN Shipowners Associations (FASA) was hosted by the Filipino Shipowners Association (FSA) in Manila on 13 December 2002.
It is likewise a member of good standing of the International Shipping Federation (ISF). It hosted on 10-12 April 2000, the Annual General Meeting of the ISF and its Labour Committee and likewise hosted the Meeting of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) where His Excellency, former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada was the Guest Speaker. The FSA Chairman, who is now the Ambassador of the Philippines to Spain is a former ISF Vice President and an incumbent FSA Trustee has been recently elected as one of the ISF Vice Presidents. It is also a member of the Asian Shipowner’s Forum (ASF) which is composed of the national shipping associations of all Asian countries. It is the Vice-Chairman of the Seafarers Committee of the ASF.
It was a member of the Shipowners Group of the High-Level Technical Working Group of the ILO-IMO which drafted the Maritime Labor Convention 2006 (MLC) and is presently actively participating in the efforts of the Philippine Government to ratify the said Convention. It was also involved in the revision of the provisions of the Standards of Training and Watchkeeping (STW) at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and participated as Philippine delegates to the IMO Diplomatic Conference on the amendments to the STCW Convention held in Manila in June 2010. It participated in the drafting of the proposed Philippine Marine Act which seeks to codify all maritime laws of the country having been responsible in securing the grant for the same from the Norwegian Directorate (NORAD) and the Seafarers Code.
To date, the FSA continues to be actively involved in discussions on shipping related issues not only locally but in the International fora as well.
Secretariat Address :
Filipino Shipowners' Association
7/F First Maritime Place, 7458 Bagtikan St.,
San Antonio Village, Makati City
Tel: (632) 890 9027
Fax: (632) 890 2253
Web Site: http//www.filship.org