DCM ASUQUE PRESENTS CREDENTIALS TO IMO SECRETARY GENERAL AS PHILIPPINE PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE TO IMO, STRESSES PRIORITY IN PROMOTING THE WELFARE AND COMPETENCE OF FILIPINO SEAFARERS
30 March 2016, London – Mr. Gilberto G.B. Asuque, Deputy Chief of Mission of the Philippine Embassy in London (photo right), presented his Credentials as Philippine Permanent Representative (PermRep) to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and Other Related Inter-Governmental Organizations, to IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim during simple ceremony on 30 March 2016 at the IMO Headquarters in London. PermRep Asuque succeeds Amb. Enrique Manalo as Philippine IMO representative
In discussions with Secretary-General Lim and Mr. Frederick Kenney, Director for Legal Affairs and External Relations Division (photo left), PermRep Asuque stressed that promoting the welfare of Filipino seafarers and ensuring full compliance with IMO safety and training standards remain as the top priority of the Philippine Mission to the IMO. PermRep Asuque said that maintaining the competence of Filipino seafarers in accordance with IMO conventions and regulations is a commitment of the Philippine Government to the world maritime industry because the Philippines remains as the main source of manpower for the international merchant fleet.
According to the Department of Labor and Employment, around 229,000 Filipino seamen are on board merchant shipping vessels around the world at any given time. This figure showed that Filipino seamen comprised more than 25 percent of the 1.5 million mariners worldwide, the "single biggest nationality bloc" in the shipping industry.
PermRep Asuque also stressed that, in addition to the focus on issues concerning seafarers, the Philippines, in compliance with its obligations as a Flag State, will work with the shipping industry and the IMO in promoting the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships.
Secretary-General Lim welcomed PermRep Asuque as he recalled their acquaintance some 16 years ago when they both represented their respective countries in various meetings and assemblies of the IMO.
PermRep Asuque served as Minister Counsellor and Deputy Permanent Representative to the IMO from 2000 to 2002 and Consul and Alternate Permanent Representative from 1997 to 2000, Philippine Embassy, London.
Immediately prior to his assignment in London, PermRep Asuque was Deputy Chief of Mission of the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo. His previous assignments in the Philippine Foreign Service include as Ambassador to the Republic of Lebanon, Assistant Secretary for Ocean Concerns, Assistant Secretary for Public Information and Spokesman of the Department of Foreign Affairs. PermRep Asuque is a member of the Philippine Bar, Board Member of the Maritime Law Association of the Philippines and is a graduate of the UP College of Law (Ll.B.), International Maritime Law Institute in Malta (Ll.M. in Maritime Law) and University of Greenwich in London (M.A. in Maritime Policy).
Joining PermRep Asuque during the call on Secretary-General Lim were Consul General and Deputy PermRep to IMO Senen Mangalile and Maritime Attachés Arsenio Lingad of the Maritime Industry Authority and Capt. Rolando Lizor Punzalan Jr. of the Philippine Coast Guard. END