Just over a year since opening, International Registries, Inc.’s (IRI’s) Manila, Philippines office is now turning around seafarer documents in record time and handling around 2,000 documents per month.
Led by Leo Bolivar, Country Head – The Philippines, the team of 14 provides seafarer documentation and undertakes vessel inspections in the Philippines, India, China, and Australia.
“On average it takes about 11.45 days from the receipt of a seafarer’s application to dispatching the documents,” says Leo Bolivar proudly.
Leo Bolivar, who has a background working for shipping companies, including Stolt-Nielsen Philippines, Inc., Uljanik Shipmanagement, Ulstein Marine Services, and Navis Maritime Services, says that the key to the Manila office’s success has been the high level of competence of the Philippine workforce.
“With so many former crewing agency staff available, Manila is a good place to find people who understand how to file documentation for a flag State. The people we’ve taken on are already halfway there from day one and we only need to train them in our office systems,” Continued Mr. Bolivar.
IRI’s Manila office interacts with 31 local manning agencies and its close proximity to these agencies saves them expensive international courier fees.
It has been a busy time for the Manila office processing the new documentation required by seafarers that need new or refresher training and certification as a result of the Manila Amendments to the Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), which came into force on 1 January 2017.
IRI Manila currently processes around 30% of the seafarer documentation and expects to increase that to 40% as more of the workload is shifted to Manila.