November 26, 2014

One Goal at a Time: I'm Getting Married!

We all have our own dreams and goals in life. The main reason I pursued the job of being a seafarer was to provide financial stability to my immediate family, then to save up and build my own family. Those dreams and goals are turning to reality and I'm very grateful to God for those blessings.

Now that I think I already fulfilled my promise to my family especially to my mother, I could say it's time for me to tackle the next stage of my life. And that's getting married! Yes, I'm finally getting married and I'm very excited with what the future upholds. 

Let me share the part of my happiness with you guys with this video below. I hope you'll love it like I do. Cheers!


October 31, 2014

How to Pack Like a Pro

I love travelling but the one thing I hate most is packing my things. But as a seafarer we can't avoid bringing a huge pile of luggage because it will be our supply for months at sea. But after seeing the video below, it gave me an idea to greatly reduce the size of my baggage.

source: youtube.com

How about you? Do you have any tips you can share? Please comment below and share it.


October 30, 2014

Epic Fail and Success of Ship Launches

This video of ship launching is very amazing. You'll never know if it will be a success or an epic fail. Most seafarers would say being the first batch of crew on the ship's maiden voyage is the most difficult stage. The main reason would be that parameters of all machinery are not yet determined so
it requires careful and constant monitoring. It is also the period to find faulty equipment that can be returned to the shipbuilder or replaced under warranty. But after the crew overcomes all those trials, I'm pretty sure that their life at their newly built ship is a breeze compared to those old rusty ones.

source: youtube.com

Someday I would love to experience being a member of first batch of crew on a newly built ship. It will be a great learning experience for me and it will surely be fun watching those ceremonies held by the ship's owner and companies.


October 16, 2014

COP Requirements for BT or Basic Training

Here's a summarized requirements for applying COP or Certificate of Competency for BT or Basic Training Instruction for all seafarers at MARINA.

October 15, 2014

SMART offers Prepaid International Data Roaming for PhP500/day

As a seafarer, have you experienced especially during anchorage times wherein you hoped you have access to internet? Or even during at port wherein you wanted to buy an internet SIM but you can't because you are not allowed to go onshore or there's no businessmen on board? I did! But the long wait is now over!

Smart finally offers international data roaming to its prepaid subscribers for PhP 500 per day. That's a very great news for seafarers and OFWs who does not have local internet SIMs on their location.




The ALL-DAY SURF ABROAD service is currently offered to these following countries:
  • Hong Kong (Hutchison)
  • Indonesia (Indosat)
  • Japan (NTT Docomo)
  • Macau (Hutchison)
  • Malaysia (Digi, Celcom)
  • Singapore (Starhub)
  • South Korea (KTF)
  • Taiwan (FET)
  • Thailand (True Move)
  • Vietnam (Vinaphone)
To activate prepaid data (ALL-DAY SURF ABROAD) service:
  1. Before leaving the Philippines, activate your roaming service by texting ROAM ON and send to 333.
  2. Make sure you have a minimum load of PhP 500.
  3. At your country of destination, manually select SMART's Conexus Roaming partner stated above if you are not connected yet. Go to your mobile phone's Mobile Network Settings and select the partner network. (example: for Singapore, select Starhub)
  4. Dial *133#  and press CALL to access USSD menu. Input 5 and press SEND to choose DATA ROAMING.
  5. From the available list of partner countries, input the designated number of your current location and press SEND.
  6. Then choose ALL-DAY SURF ABROAD 500. A confirmation for successful registration will be sent.
Take note that ALL-DAY SURF ABROAD is valid for same day subscription only from 12 midnight until 11:59PM. That means if you registered 11PM then you will only have 1 hour before the ALL-DAY SURF ABROAD service will expire.

October 10, 2014

All Land-Based Recruitment Agencies with Valid License: Updated as of October 2014

Ever wonder if your recruitment agency operates legally? Check it out if it is on POEA's list of all land-based recruitment agencies with valid license and spare yourself from future regrets and troubles. Here's the updated list as of October 2014 for your quick reference.

All Sea-Based Manning Agencies with Valid License: Updated as of October 2014

Here's the updated list as of October 2014 of all sea-based manning agencies with valid license as per POEA's website. Feel free to check if your desired manning agency is on the list to avoid future problems.

October 09, 2014

Certificates of Proficiency (COP) for Holders of TESDA Certificates of Competency (COC): Application, Requirements, Fees

Are you a seafarer holding a TESDA COC? Are you confused between COP and COC? Check the MARINA Circular No. 2013-08 below for complete information on qualification and documentary requirements for the issuance of COPs for deck and engine ratings.
MARINA and TESDA Logos
MARINA and TESDA Logos

September 10, 2014

Filing Income Tax for Seamen and OFW: What is Form 1703?

I've been working as a seafarer for more than three years already and our tax laws are very nice to people like us working abroad or commonly known as Overseas Filipino Workers. We enjoy tax-free salaries because the law states so, provided that all incomes are obtained outside the country.

So for three years I have never seen any BIR form for filing my income tax return. Unlike when I was working at a semiconductor company here in the Philippines where our HR updates us always about our ITR forms.

But recently I visited the website of Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) just to check for anything worthwhile, then I stumbled to this downloadable Form 1703 from their site. The name of the form caught my attention. It's entitled "Annual Income Information Return for Non-Resident Citizens / OCWs and Seamen (for foreign-sourced income). The first thought that came into my mind was, "Oh no, I thought we are exempted? I might be in trouble! Penalties!". Knowing that the campaign of BIR against those tax evaders is very strong, it really made me research about it instantly.
BIR Form 1703
So I googled other blogs, social sites, threads, and actually read some taxation laws just to be clarified about this Form 1703. And here's what I've gathered. Some netizens shared that they have tried filing Form 1703 but they were instructed by BIR officials that OFWs doesn't need to file income tax. Maybe this Form 1703 is also not clear to some BIR staff. Some also say that Form 1703 is obsolete. But why it is still on BIR's website?
BIR Form No. 1703
Annual Income Information Return for Non-Resident Citizens / OCWs and Seamen (for foreign-sourced income)
Description
This information return is filed in triplicate by Non-resident citizens and Overseas Contract Workers (OCWs), including qualified Filipino seamen, on income derived from sources abroad.
An individual citizen of the Philippines who is working and deriving income from abroad as an overseas worker is taxable only on income from sources within the Philippines. Income from sources within the Philippines should be filed in either Form 1700 or Form 1701.
Filing Date
This information return is filed not later than the April 15 of the year following the taxable year in which the income was earned.

Based from the information I've gathered, it seems that this Form 1703 is neglected often. Honestly, I'm also not aware of this form before this post. But in my own opinion filing this Form 1703 has its own pros in the future especially when getting a loan which requires your ITR history.

As the name of the form says, it is only an annual income information return for foreign-sourced income. The BIR only wants to know how much you are earning from foreign sources and they will not tax you for it. The declaration of foreign-sourced income will only justify where did you get the money for buying that elegant car or huge house, etc. Anyway, filing this Form 1703 will cost you a small fee or even none (not sure about the fee but I will try to file next year to know it firsthand) as long as you only get your income outside the country.

For you guys out there you can post at the comment section for more information about this Form 1703. Your inputs are highly appreciated!

February 10, 2014

COP Requirements Issued by MARINA

Many are confused about the COP issued by MARINA because it is new to our fellow seafarers. Here's the detailed requirements issued by MARINA to guide seafarers, training centers, and manning agencies in processing COP.

Qualification and Documentary Requirements for Issuance of Certificate of Proficiency (COP)

MARINA CIRCULAR 2013-09
Annex A
Regulations
Sea Service Reqts.
Training Requirements
Documentary Requirements
Regulation V/1-1
Mandatory Minimum
Requirements for the Training
and Qualifications of Masters,
Officers and Ratings on Oil and
Chemical Tankers
None
Approved basic training for
oil and chemical tanker
cargo operations
. Screening / Application Form
. SIRB
. Certificate of Completion
. Training Completion and
Record of Assessment
(TCROA) as “passed”
. Enrolment Report Form


For Masters and Officers:
. Screening / Application Form
. SIRB
. COP on basic training for oil
and chemical tanker cargo
operations
. Certificate of Completion
. Training Completion and
Record of Assessment
(TCROA) as “passed”
. Enrolment Report Form


At least 3 months of
approved seagoing
service on board Oil or
Chemical Tanker
Approved Advanced
Training course for Oil or
Chemical Tanker Cargo
Operations


For Revalidation (Masters and Officers)



Approved seagoing service of al least 12 months in
total during the preceding 5 years, or 3 months in
total during the preceding 6 months immediately
prior to revalidation; OR
. Successfully completing an approved relevant
training course or courses.
. Screening / Application Form
. SIRB
. COP
. Certificate of Completion
. Training Completion and
Record of Assessment
(TCROA) as “passed”
. Enrolment Report Form
Regulation V/1-2
Mandatory Minimum
Requirements for the Training
and Qualifications of Masters,
Officers and Ratings on
Liquefied Gas Tankers
None
Approved basic training for
liquefied gas tanker cargo
operations
. Screening / Application Form
. SIRB
. Certificate of Completion
. Training Completion and
Record of Assessment
(TCROA) as “passed”
. Enrolment Report Form


For Masters and Officers:
. Screening / Application Form
. SIRB
. COP on basic training for
liquefied gas tanker cargo
operations
. Certificate of Completion
. Training Completion and
Record of Assessment
(TCROA) as “passed”
. Enrolment Report Form


At least 3 months of
approved seagoing
service on liquefied
gas tankers
Approved advanced
training for liquefied gas
tanker cargo operations
Regulation V/2
Mandatory Minimum
Requirements for the Training
and Qualifications of Masters,
Officers, Ratings and other
Personnel on Passenger Ships
None
Approved training on Crisis
Management and Human
Behavior
. Screening / Application Form
. SIRB
. Certificate of Completion
. Training Completion and
Record of Assessment
(TCROA) as “passed”
. Enrolment Report Form
Regulation VI/1
Mandatory Minimum
Requirements for Safety
Familiarization, Basic Training
and Instruction for all Seafarers
None
. Personal Survival
Techniques
. Fire Prevention and Fire
Fighting
. Elementary First Aid
. Personal Safety and
Social Responsibilities
. Screening / Application Form
. SIRB
. Certificate of Completion
. Training Completion and
Record of Assessment
(TCROA) as “passed”
. Enrolment Report Form


For Revalidation
. Screening / Application Form
. Proof of seagoing service as
reflected in the SIRB
. COP
. Training Completion and
Record of Assessment
(TCROA) as “passed”
. Enrolment Report Form
. Valid Medical Certificate issued
by accredited clinics or hospitals
using the DOH prescribed
PEME form


12 months for the last
5 years
Refresher Training on:

. Personal Survival
Techniques
. Fire Prevention and Fire
Fighting
Regulation VI/2
Mandatory Minimum
Requirements for the issue of
Certificates of Proficiency in
Survival Craft and Rescue
Boats other than Fast Craft
Boats:
Approved seagoing
service of not less
than 12 months
Approved training course in
Survival Craft and Rescue
Boats
. Screening / Application Form
. SIRB
. Training Completion and
Record of Assessment
(TCROA) as “passed”
. Enrolment Report Form


For Revalidation
. Screening / Application Form
. SIRB
. COP
. Certification from the Master OR
Training Completion and
Record of Assessment
(TCROA) as “passed” and
Enrolment Report Form


Approved seagoing
service of not less
than six months
. Refresher Training on
Survival Craft and Rescue
Boats other than Fast
Craft Boats, OR
. Certification and records
of drills/trainings
conducted on board
issued by the Master

Mandatory Minimum
Requirements for the issue of
Certificates of Proficiency in
Fast Rescue Boats:
Approved seagoing
service of not less
than 12 months
Approved training course in
Fast Rescue Boats
. Screening / Application Form
. SIRB
. COP in Survival Craft and
Rescue Boats other than Fast
Craft Boats
. Certificate of Completion
. Training Center Record of
Assessment (TCROA) as
“passed”
. Enrolment Report Form
Regulation VI/3
Mandatory Minimum
Requirements for Training in
Advance Fire Fighting
Approved seagoing
service of not less
than 12 months
Approved Advance Training
in Techniques for Fighting
Fire, with particular
emphasis on organization,
tactics and command
. Screening / Application Form
. SIRB
. Certificate of Completion
. Training Center Record of
Assessment (TCROA) as
“passed”
. Enrolment Report Form
Regulation VI/4
Mandatory Minimum
Requirements relating to
Medical First Aid and Medical
Care
None
. Approved training course
in Medical First Aid
. Approved training course
in Medical Care
. Screening / Application Form
. SIRB
. Certificate of Completion
. Training Center Record of
Assessment (TCROA) as
“passed”
. Enrolment Report Form
Regulation VI/5
Mandatory Minimum
Requirements for the issue of
Certificates of Proficiency for
Ship Security Officers
Approved seagoing
service of not less
than 12 months,
Approved training course in
Ship Security Officer
. Screening / Application Form
. SIRB
. Certificate of Completion
. Training Center Record of
Assessment (TCROA) as
“passed”
. Enrolment Report Form
Regulation VI/6
Mandatory Minimum
Requirements for Security-
related Training and Instruction
for all Seafarers
None
Training on Security
Awareness and Seafarers
with Designated Security
Duties
. Screening Form
. Certificate of Completion
. Training Completion and
Record of Assessment
(TCROA)
. Enrolment report
Transitional Provisions:



 Until 1 January 2014,
seafarers who commenced an
approved seagoing service
prior to the date of entry into
force of Section A VI/6.5 shall
be able to establish that they
meet the requirements of
Section VI/6.4



Transitional Provisions:


 Until 1 January 2014,
seafarers with designated
security duties who
commenced an approved
seagoing service prior to the
date of entry into force of
Section A VI/6.9 shall be able
to demonstrate competence
to undertake the tasks, duties
and responsibilities listed in
column 1 of Table A-VI/6-2
At least six (6) months
sea service within
three (3) years prior to
01 January 2012























Six (6) months sea
service within three (3)
years prior to 01
January 2012





























Approved Security Training
for Seafarers with
Designated Security Duties
. Screening / Application Form
. SIRB
. Certificate of Sea Service
























. Screening / Application
Form
. Certificate of Sea Service
showing his designation to
perform security duties on
board
. SIRB

 
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