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Bacolod City, PhilippinesWednesday, July 27, 2011
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1st int’l seafarers’ confab set

The Philippines will host the first-ever International Seafarers Family Convention on August 4 and 5 at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City, a press release from organizers said.

Marissa Oca, chief organizer of the event, is inviting seafarers and their families in the Visayas and Mindanao to join the two-day convention, the press release said.

The convention, with the theme: “The Bonds of Families, the Success of the World,” is aimed at strengthening the ties among seafarers’ families and heralding the contribution of the maritime industry to the Philippine economy, Oca said.

“Families have many ways of coping with the absence of their seafarer parents,” Oca said.

Through the years, many issues have cropped up in relation to this. But we should all be aware that not only the family, but also the government, ship owners, employers, NGOs, and many others have a stake in keeping the families of seafarers together, she also said.

Activities lined up in the convention include an exhibition and discussions on Empowering Women, Maritime Piracy (A Humanitarian Response Program), and HIV/AIDS.

Slated speakers are Carla Limcaoco of Women in Maritime Philippines, Roy Paul of ITF Seafarers Trust from the United Kingdom, and ITF AIDS advisor Dr. Asif Altaf also of the United Kingdom.

The convention will also have sessions for the youth on the second day, with Sen. Pia Cayetano, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Youth, Women and Family Relations. Cayetano will discuss about “Youth and Freedom” and former Department of Transportation and Communication secretary Arturo Valdez will talk about “Life is an Expedition.”

Other speakers for the youth are Angelina. La Vina on “Cross your T’s and Dot your I’s,” Neuro-Psychiatric Section chief Dr. Romel Papa of the National Bureau of Investigation on “Coping Styles to Loneliness and Separation,” and Tina Mariano, group head of Smart Communications Inc.’s Global Access Group.

Over 100 companies, associations, organizations, manning agencies, shipping lines, housing and real estate, banking and finance sector, health, car companies, appliances, and maritime schools will exhibit their services and products to the seafaring families at the convention.

The exhibition is open to all non-convention participants and to the public, the press release said.*

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