German shipping firm trusts Pinoy seafarers

(From left to right) Tore Henriksen, president of the Döhle Shipmanagement Philippines Corporation; Johann Diercks, Managing Director of Döhle Schiffarts-KG, and Atty. Iris Baguilat, president of Döhle Seafront Crewing Manila Inc.

As posted by the Daily Tribune on November 18, 2023

Amid reports that European shipowners are now choosing other races over Filipino seafarers, a German shipping firm on Friday affirmed its trust and respect for Filipino merchant mariners, calling them the backbone of its global operations.

In a press conference on Friday, Johann Diercks, managing director of Germany-based shipping company Döhle Schiffarts-KG, said Filipino seafarers are the backbone of their 40 years of operation and the global maritime industry.

“Their dedication, expertise, resilience, and loyalty have been instrumental to our group’s success. We are committed to strengthening our Filipino community of seafarers and families, ensuring that they will continue to play a vital role in our company’s future,” he said.

To date, more than 1,400 Filipino seafarers are manning Döhle Schiffarts-KG vessels, which is anticipated to grow further in the coming years.

Regarding managed vessels, Diercks said the Döhle Group currently provides crews to  134 vessels.

The Philippines is said to be the largest maritime labor supplier in the world, with 345,000 deployed in 2022, remitting around $6.7 billion or around P341 billion in 2022.

Improve Phl regulations

Tore Henriksen, president of Döhle Shipmanagement Philippines Corp., urged the Philippine government to craft more programs to improve Filipino seafarers’ competitiveness and resolve the ambulance-chasing mess smearing the country’s reputation in worldwide seafaring.

“In terms of compliance with international regulations, the Philippines has the advantage as this was already resolved by the Philippine government. But it’s fair to say that the regulatory environment could have been more transparent and less complicated, just like in other countries,” Henriksen said.

In March 2023, the Philippines hurdled the European Commission Audit, and the EC decided to continue recognizing the safety certifications of some 50,000 Filipino seafarers employed on European-flagged vessels.

The commission, in its decision, however, said the Philippines still has six deficiencies that should be addressed, namely, monitoring, supervision, and evaluation of training, examination, and assessment of competence, program and course design, availability and use of training facilities and simulators, on-board training, and issue, revalidation and registration of certificates.

Hiring Filipina seafarers

Meanwhile, Diercks said they are contemplating hiring Filipina seafarers, emphasizing the group’s commitment to supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, particularly on quality education, good health and well-being, and decent work.

Diercks, an advocate for gender equality in the workplace, stated that the group has been preparing to introduce female cadets and seafarers to its growing workforce.

“We have always considered having female seafarers, but it takes more than our desire to aptly make this happen. For years, we have been ensuring that when female seafarers board our vessels, our ships are ready and well-equipped to accommodate them and that their needs are safely met,” he said.

The Döhle Group is a global provider of shipping services, including ship management, technical management, crewing, and chartering. It has a long history of working with Filipino seafarers and is committed to providing them with the support they need to succeed.

Its Philippine subsidiary, Döhle Seafront, provides crewing services to various third-party shipping companies worldwide.