in the Philippines
J. Lauritzen has employed Filipino seafarers since the 1970's, and has since 2010 had a local representative in Manila to attend and to be close to the seafarers and to other important business relationships we have in the area. In 2013, we opened an office in Manila that assists us in our contact to our seafarers and other business partners. Today, the office employs eight people and has thus become an important hub for the contact with Lauritzen Kosan’s approximately 700 Filipino seafarers.
Due to the many Filipinos we have on board our vessels, many of our community engagement efforts in the area are focused on supporting seafarers and are often executed in a joint effort with our owner, the Lauritzen Foundation, who supports shipping, education and humanitarian work.
Lauritzen Kosan was, together with the Lauritzen Foundation, a finalist for the Nordic Business Council Philippines (NBCP) Awards 2015 in the category 'Nordic-Philippine CSR Activity of the Year' for the company's support to the Filipino community after Typhoon Yolanda hit in November 2013.
Supporting maritime education
We also find it important to support the training of Filipino seamen as we are highly dependent on well educated seafarers to deliver the quality service our clients require.
New kitchen at the Philippine Merchant Marine Academy
The Philippine Merchant Marine Academy (PMMA) is the oldest merchant marine academy in the Philippines. The academy is operated by the Filipino government and is located in San Narciso, in the province of Zambales. Upon graduation, cadets either start their careers in the maritime industry or sign up for active military service. A large number of our seafarers have conducted their maritime education at PMMA.
With about 1,000 students and staffs, the PMMA’s kitchen feeds a large number of people including a number of Lauritzen Kosan Midshipmen every day. However, their kitchen had not been renovated and updated for many years. Through our office in Manila, the Lauritzen Foundation showed great dedication to the academy and the enrolled Lauritzen cadets by donating money for a complete renovation of the kitchen in 2013.
Fitter Machinist Scholarship Programme
The Propeller Club of Manila is a non-profit organisation with approximately 100 members of various nationalities from different sectors within the maritime industry.
For the purpose of training new recruits for employment on board ocean-going ships, the Propeller Club of Manila has established a scholarship programme with the commitment of sponsorship from the Australian Government. The programme is aimed at young men between 18 and 25 years from disadvantaged families. With financial assistance from the Lauritzen Foundation, a student has been granted a scholarship in 2014.
Supporting the Filipino community
Through our close relations with our Filipino seafarers, we are strongly embedded in the Filipino community. We therefore also have a responsibility to support them in overcoming some of the rough challenges they may face.
In the wake of the devastating typhoon that hit the Philippines in November 2013, J. Lauritzen donated USD 40,000 to the international medical organisation Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and their important work in the area.
Additionally, the Lauritzen Foundation contributed USD 7,000 to Dr. Tay through our Manila office. Dr. Tay is a medical doctor affiliated with Lauritzen Kosan doing medical examinations of the seafarers. Following the typhoon, she went on a medical mission on a ship run by the Philippine Medical Association.
Along with 30 other doctors and 20 paramedical staff, she conducted medical treatments and surgeries from the two most affected ports. Further, they provided much needed supplies to the victims of the typhoon.
Both Lauritzen Bulkers and Lauritzen Kosan have subsequently established funds to provide their seafarers with financial aid in case of property damage caused by Yolanda and to provide some financial cover in case of future natural disasters. In 2014, approximately 140 seafarers and their families received donations from the funds to rebuild their homes after Typhoon Yolanda.
The Stairway Foundation
The Stairway Foundation is an independent NGO founded by two Danes in 1990. The Stairway Foundation runs a rehabilitation centre for particularly vulnerable street children and a resource centre that campaigns for children’s rights on the island of Mindoro in the Philippines.
Alongside the rehabilitation centre and the resource centre, Stairway funds schooling for around 1,000 Filipino children through a scholarship programme that contributes to paying for uniforms, books, transport and packed lunches.
Because of J. Lauritzen’s strong presence in the Philippines, the Lauritzen Foundation has supported Stairway Denmark, the project’s Danish support organisation, by contributing funding towards the scholarship programme.