The Filipino Shipowners Association (FSA) was organized in 1950 by a group of shipowners led by Col. Generoso F. Tanseco and four (4) others, after they walked out of a tumultuous stockholders meeting of the then Philippine Shipowners Association. The four had protested against the refusal of the incumbent leaders to raise the number of its Board of Directors from five to seven to allow post war shipping companies to have representation in the Board. The five thereafter met at the Keg Room of the old Jai Alai building along Taft Avenue, where the Filipino Shipowners Association (FSA) was conceived and organized. Col. Tanseco became its first Chairman of the Board and President and served as such from 1950 to 1975 when he was appointed as the first Administrator of the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA).
From that small group, the FSA has grown through the years, and now consists of 29 member companies engaged in the overseas shipping trade either as shipowners, operators, bareboat charterers or companies which are engaged in maritime related business activities.
Just 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, was facilitated through the active support of the FSA. The issuance of the Ship Mortgage Decree of 1978 was spearheaded by FSA.
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 overseas shipping industry.
It has remained committed to the development of the Philippine overseas shipping industry and 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.
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) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) in upgrading the training and qualification of our seafarers. It specifically worked for the computerization of 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, now realized and effectively implemented.
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 gave shipowners the opportunity 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 was thereafter, extended indefinitely by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo with the full support of the FSA.
It co-sponsored the Joint 2000 National Shipping Congress, which sought 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 actively sits and participates as an observer representing the overseas shipping sector in the Board of Directors of the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA). It has collaborated with MARINA in drafting the proposed Ship Mortgage Law and the Amendments to the Philippine Overseas Shipping Development Act (RA 7471), the latter having been passed by Congress in May 2004 and signed into law by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as RA 9301. It worked for the retention of the tax incentives for the importation of ships, fuel, equipment and supplies. It was a member of the DOTC’s Multi-Sectoral Task Force on Maritime Development and also an active member of the Board of Governors of the National Maritime Polytechnic. It likewise participated in the drafting of the BIR Circular on the VAT exemption of overseas shipping companies in the Philippines.
In regional and international maritime fora, the FSA continues to play an active role in representing the country and articulating the country’s stand on various shipping concerns and issues.
The FSA is a member of the Federation of ASEAN Shipowners Association (FASA) which is composed of the national shipping associations from Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, Myanmar, 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. The FSA will assume the Chairmanship of FASA for the years 2014-2015 with incumbent President, Dario “Roy” Alampay sitting as the FASA Chairman.
Locally, the FSA is a member of the Joint Manning Group (JMG) where the FSA President, Dario “Roy” Alampay was the JMG President in 2012. The JMG is a grouping of non-governmental organizations involved in the maritime sector of the Philippines united in its objective of promoting the Filipino seafarer, uplift his general welfare and thereby maintain the stature of the Philippines as the primary source of able and qualified seafarers for the world’s merchant fleet.
It is likewise a member of good standing of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and the International Shipping Federation (ISF). It hosted on 10-12 April 2000, the Annual General Meeting of the ISF and its Labor Committee and the Annual General 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-Chairman.
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 with the FSA President, Dario Alampay of Westwind Shipping Corporation and Baliwag Navigation, Inc. holding the position as such. FSA Trustee Gerardo Borromeo of CCI Marine Logistics, Inc. is an incumbent Vice-Chairman of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and President of Inter-Manager.
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 actively participated 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 of 2009 which seeks to codify all maritime laws of the country having been responsible in securing the funding grant for the same from the Norwegian Directorate (NORAD) and the Seafarers Code. It continues to pursue the enactment into legislation of the said proposed laws.
It was a catalyst in the issuance of Executive Order No. 75 which was signed by His Excellency President Benigno S. Aquino III creating a single central maritime authority that will oversee the implementation of STCW provisions and ensure that the Philippines will continue to fully comply with the same.
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.