Today, March 14, 2009, marks the 6th year anniversary of the Joint Filipino-Norwegian Maritime Unions General Assistance and Information Office, Inc. (Fil-Nor GAIN, Inc.)
Fil-Nor GAIN, Inc. was opened by the Norwegian Maritime Unions with the objective of providing information service to all Filipino seafarers joining NIS registered/Norwegian controlled vessels covered by a CBA where the Norwegian Maritime Unions (NMU) are a part of.
During its first year of operations, the organization encountered several difficulties in introducing Fil-Nor GAIN to the various sectors in the maritime industry, but thanks to the great efforts of the organizers and their staff, they have slowly worked and established the name of Fil-Nor GAIN, Inc. in the industry as the Norwegian Maritime Unions’ service and assistance office in Manila, serving the Filipino seafarers.
Back in 2003, the office was only receiving about 20 seafarers-visitors a month. True to their commitment to help and assist more Filipino seafarers, the organizers added and implemented more ways to inform, support and service them. In 2006, the NSA Provident Fund inquiries and Online Account System was set up in cooperation with Storebrand Livsforsikring. The official launching of the Fil-Nor GAIN website in 2007, has also paved the way to receive more CBA and provident fund related inquiries from seafarers in and around the globe through its website’s Contact-Form. And in January 2008, it became the only agency responsible in handling information and assistance to seafarers who are members of the NSA Provident Fund.
In addition, the collaborations with our global partner, the Associated Marine Officers’ and Seamen’s Union of the Philippines (AMOSUP), and with the Royal Norwegian Embassy in 2006 and 2009 to hold the 2nd and 3rd Fil-Nor Maritime Conferences respectively in Manila, marked the presence of the Norwegian Maritime Unions’ in the Philippines in organizing and providing service and welfare information not only to the Filipino seafarers but to the industry as a whole.
These developments have greatly contributed to the growth as well as in realizing the objectives of the organization. Today, Fil-Nor GAIN is proud to have had serviced more than 5,000 seafarers in its 6 years of operation. A humble feat still, yet, this gives great inspiration and enthusiasm for Fil-Nor GAIN to continually work hard for the betterment of its present services and to further find other ways to provide information, assist and reach out to a greater number of Filipino seafarers in the coming years.