Norway group to continue program for future seamen

Posted on February 18, 2011


by Reporter Aileen Garcia-Yap

WILL the arrest of  Norwegian national Sven Erik Berger  in connection to the kidnap and murder of 6-year-old Ellah Joy Pique affect Cebu’s ties with Norway?

Since 1993, 300 maritime students in a local university have been given the opportunity to work  for member companies of the Norwegian Shipowners Association (NSA).

The NSA sponsors a Philippines Cadet program for maritime students of the University of Cebu (UC) and five other maritime schools in the country.

For lawyer Augusto Go, UC president, it appears that the Norwegian community is taking the situation calmly. 

“In fact, (today) at 10 a.m. they (NSA)  will visit us because they will be adding 100 more scholars to the program.” 

 The Norwegian companies are aware of the issue but understand that mistakes could happen, Go said.

“In any country, there will always be mistakes done. Caucasians will look the same especially to young people. So I think this will not affect our scholarship program as long as we also show to them that we are carrying out 
our investigations thoroughly,” Go said.

Norwegian Honorary Consul Sabino Dapat also said some Norwegian companies with delivery centers in the  Mactan Economic Zone gave  the biggest allocation for scholarships under NSA's Cadet Program.

“We have British Armour in MEPZ, which produces security vehicles for their clients in the United Nations, and they are contributing so much in terms of foreign investments,” he said.

“We also have the biggest chunk of scholars from Norwegian shipowners, which has helped our fellow Filipinos get a job in a Norwegian shipping company.”

Dapat said that there are 1,200 scholars under the NSA Philippine Cadet Program. They are set to be hired by and NSA  member company.

Aside from the University of Cebu, NSA is also partnering with the Philippine Merchant Marine Academy, Maritime Academy of Asia and the Pacific, John B. Lacson Colleges Foundation in Bacolod, DMMA College of 

Southern Philippines, John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University in Molo, and John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University – Arevalo.

Cebu Business Club president Gordon Alan Joseph agreed that the arrest of Berger will not compromise the business relationships that Cebu has with Norwegian investors and companies as long as the investigation is 
carried out fairly and thoroughly.

“If the investigation is carried out fairly and thoroughly, then there should be no issues. What will affect the relationship is sloppy police work. This must be avoided,” Joseph said in a text message sent to .

Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Eric Ng Mendoza said that the Norwegian businessmen should understand that we need to enforce the law.

“But we have to put matters in proper contexts and right order. No one is above the law,” Mendoza said.
Posted in: Uncategorized