Swedes Establish Maritime Fund

Shipping firms from Sweden have formed their own maritime foundation to source funds and equipment for a Laguna-based school owned by the Yuchengco family.
    The companies involved in the foundation signed an agreement on Thursday.
    These include Wallenius Marine AB and Transatlantic Fleet Services AB, together with a local firm, to create the Swedish Maritime Foundation.
    The group would primarily source funds and training equipment for Malayan Colleges Laguna, the school that belong to the Yuchengco family.
    Malayan Colleges last year introduced maritime courses despite a moratorium passed by the government to weed out what it labeled as fly-by-night operators in the industry.
    Carlos Salinas, president and chief executive of Philippine Transmarine Carriers Inc.—the local firm that is part of the foundation—said the foundation would provide resources for students of Malayan Colleges. The school has about 320 students.
    “We are creating a whole new environment for the industry” that would “allow students to take their maritime course,” Salinas said in a press briefing on Thursday.
    In return, the students after graduation will be required to train with the two Swedish companies with the possibility of getting hired after training.
    Wallenius Marine and Transatlantic Fleet currently have about 30 scholars in Malayan Colleges.
    For starters, the foundation has donated two auxiliary engines to the school. Officials say there will be more to come as they would ask other Swedish companies to donate resources and sponsor a student-exchange program between the Philippines and Sweden.
    The school was established last year in a 6-hectare property in Canlubang, Laguna. It offers four- to five-year maritime courses that include BS Marine Transportation and BS Marine Engineering, despite the restrictions imposed by the Commission on Higher Education (Ched).
    According to Reynaldo Vea, the school’s president, Ched allowed Malayan Colleges to offer undergraduate courses after the commission was satisfied the courses are offered in line with Salinas’s PTC and with the support of the foundation and the Swedish companies.
    Sweden’s shipping industry employs about 1,000 seafarers.                  
    According to Pieter Sprangers of Wallenius Marine, his company needs about 20 Filipino seafarers a year since most of its manning needs are still being sourced in Sweden.
    “But we are here for the long haul. We do not know what will happen in the next two to three years,” Sprangers added.

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