Wednesday, October 14, 2009

An Inconvenient Truth

I can aptly describe it as a very dirturbing, alarming and shocking truth.

The footages on the videomentary (documentary video) by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore were really the truth about what is really happening in the entire world regarding climate change and global warming.

I've experienced the fury of Hurricane Katrina way back August 28, 2005. I was onboard a commercial vessel, M/V Parthenon of Tsakos Shipping and Trading, S.A. The ship of twenty five crew plus one passenger (the wife of Greek second engineer) were exposed to the pummeling of the Carribean Sea brought about by Katrina's very strong sustained winds. We cannot eat and we already donned our lifejackets in case the ship gave way to the deadly hurricane (category 5). The effects of Katrina was very strong even were already far at a distance of two hundred nautical miles.

Industrial progress around the world have setbacks and one of that is the climate change and its effects:global warming.

As a seafarer, I've seen the effects of too much oil mining and refining in every industrialized country we engaged into, loading and discharging crude oil cargo. Pollution, name it and the biggest one global warming.

Alternative energies are already here on earth since time in memoriam. The power of the water, air, and the sun are much better than continue utilizing the blood of the earth, and that is oil. It is more convenient and pollution-free if the government of every country in the world will fully harness its potentials.
Hurricane Katrina, August 28, 2005

Again, it will be a better place to live again if government officials, businessmen and capitalists heard our protests and adhere with what the bloggers are doing for this cause.

Chaos at OWWA

I applied for a calamity loan at the OWWA main office in Pasay City, Manila, Philippines last October 9, 2009.

The groundfloor of the office building were crowded with the relatives, husbands, wives or the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) themselves, whether seabased or landbased. It is still happening as of this writing since the aftermath of tropical storm Ondoy (September 26, 2009).

The commotion made by these needy people, including me, were really disturbing since day one of the loan application.

The guards infront of the main lobby of OWWA office will send you to the helpdesks. The frontliners at the helpdesk with the uniformed guards are busy giving an index-like recycled papers so that the applicants will fill in the necessary information needed for the processing of the OWWA contribution verification papers of the overseas workers related to the claimants.

The glitch is that the verification information will still be coming directly from POEA office then be transferred to the online printer in the OWWA processing center.

When the media personnel, particulary in television,came last week you can see the proper processing of  the loan. But when the members of the media left come afternoon, the processing became unruly again.

Recently, the claimants of the calamity loan checks are still arguing because those who applied this week were receiving their checks. Those who applied earlier, two weeks ago were already left behind.

The processing of application per day is being limited to two hundred applicants.

Until now, victims of Ondoy are berating the services given by OWWA personnel because of the unfair practice of loan check releasing.

There was a seaman who told my sister (a wife of my brother-in-law who's working overseas, too) that he still following up his application since October 5th this year but his check is nowhere to be seen.

OWWA personnel told the loan applicants to call the office hotline but when you call for a follow-up, seldom you hear a reply from them.

You really have to go there to see what's happening. There is something wrong with the processing of the applicants and releasing of loan checks. Paging Madam Carmelita Dimzon, the present administrator of OWWA. Ma'am, I think there is something fishy going on regarding this matter.

It's our contribution. We should benefit from it if we need it badly.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Claiming my prize

I've been notified a week ago by my co-Filipino crew from my former shipping principal, Tsakos Shipping & Trading, S.A. under the management of Wallem Philippines that I've won the major prizes of the 2008 Postermaking Contest sponsored by the said Greek company.

We both work at the said shipping company. I work since 2001 until 2008 when an intgrigue forced our crewing manager to transfer me in Viken fleet, also a principal of Wallem.

I don't have any regret because I am more at home with the Filipino crew in my present principal. Other benefits were added including our union's contribution in AMOSUP (Filipino Seafarer's Union) and additional life insurance if ever we encounter an accident.

Now, going back to my issue, my friend said I should claim my monetary prizes because all my winning entries are being posted to all the commercial vessels owned and managed by TST.

It's not very surprising that I've known it already because even I was ousted from the company, I've already got the news about it.

I've already contacted the crewing manager of Tsakos here in the Philippines through text messages but he is still not sending a response. Maybe he's so busy as of this writing.

By the way, the major topic of the contest is about protecting the marine environment. The contest covered the month of January until February last year.

Is it still worthy if I still claim the prize I should have received last year?