SM Supermalls extends helping hand to seafaring OFWs

“The Seafarer Center is our humble way of recognizing and honoring our seafarers. Now, they have a place inside a premier mall that they can call their own.”
These were the enthusiastic words expressed by SM Supermalls Vice President for Operations Glenn D. Ang over the prospects of serving seafaring OFWs further through the recently launched Seafarer Center at SM Manila. The Center, which was launched recently, is a collaborative project between SM and the Joint Manning Group (JMG). It will serve as a one-stop-facility that will carry all possible needs of sea-based Filipino workers. This project is an initiative of SM Cares – the corporate social responsibility program of SM Prime Holdings, Inc. under its president Hans Sy – through its Global Pinoy component.
“Global Pinoy started two years ago with the goal to serve OFWs. It came from the realization that OFWs are some of the primary reasons why the country survived the economically trying times. We want to help them in return, and we believe that the JMG is the best organization to work with to serve sea-based OFWs,” said Ang.
The Seafarer Center will feature job fairs, seminars, financial counseling and entertainment for OFW families. There will also be spaces provided for government agencies that help OFWs with their job application processing and employment concerns. There are also plans of having live radio programs on the site, as well as pasalubong service booths. Visitors will have a chance to sign up as members of Global Pinoy in order to receive its exclusive privileges.
Ang added, “The SM Global Pinoy will continuously work on serving the needs of our seafarers. It is not just a place where they can find lists of jobs available for them. It is also a place where they can bring their families together and celebrate an occasion within their group or peers.”
“This is the first of its kind in the world,” said Engr. Samuel Lim, JMG director and Seafarer Center committee chairman. “It is also the first CSR undertaking of JMG. We chose to partner with SM because of their dedicated program for OFWs.”
Although it took about a year for both SM and JMG to complete the plan for the Seafarer Center, Engr. Lim says that the Filipino seafarers are worth all the hard work. Having the Center gives better alternatives for seafarers who need assistance, including those who are looking for employment opportunities. The Center has about 500 sq.m. floor space at the 5th level of SM Manila. 
JMG is the umbrella organization composed of Philippine maritime and manning associations including the Filipino Association for Mariners' Employment Inc. (FAME), Filipino Shipowners' Association (FSA), International Maritime Association of the Philippines (INTERMAP), Philippine Association of Manning Agencies and Shipmanagers, Inc. (PAMAS) and Philippine-Japan Manning Consultative Council, Inc. (PJMCC).
Thursday, February 7, 2013