Sunday, June 25, 2023, was a celebration of the International Day of the Seafarers, a day dedicated to recognizing the seafarers’ contribution to world trade and economy, and the protection of the marine environment. This year’s theme is “MARPOL at 50”

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim, in his video message to mark the occasion, acknowledges the immense role that seafarers play in protecting the marine environment. “As the maritime sector works toward making shipping more environmentally sound and sustainable,” he said, “seafarers play an increasingly important role in helping to protect the health of our oceans and planet. Every day at sea they have to impose IMO’s environment-related treaties by implementing rules on garbage and sewage and air pollution prevention.

In Manila, close to PICC seaside at Liwasang Ulalim, the International Transport Federation, hosted the “ITF Seafarers’ Expo”, supported by Filipino seafarer union affiliates. The Expo was also attended by representatives from international unions. The expo was offered to about 5,000 seafarers and their families with the opportunity to engage and discuss with labor leaders, legal, labor, and health experts. The Expo took place from June 23 to June 25. The event featured a main stage, three activity tents, free lunch, various seafarer welfare and learning providers, ensuring a fun and informative day out for seafarers and their families.

In Tent No. 4, The Mission to Seafarers (MTS) gave a seminar. First, it explained its goal. “The Mission to Seafarers is existing to support the men and women working at sea when they need us most. To compensate for the lack of facilities available, all of our Seafarers Centres, spread across 50 countries, in 200+ ports, aim to provide Seafarers with access to WiFi Internet and SIM cards and a comfortable place to rest and relax. In the Philippines MTS provides support and building a caring community for the seafarers’ families thru the MTS Family Network. All of these are operating due to donations. It also conducts training sessions about Wellbeing.

The seminar introduced “WeCare” and “Financial Wellbeing” conducted by Lala Tolentino Rahon of MTS. It was attended by seafarers and families participating in the Expo including the 14 Pre-Sea cadets of LMM/ MSM as seen below in the photo.