Ambassador Carlos C. Salinas
One person who has made a distinguished mark in the maritime industry is Carlos C. Salinas, former Philippine Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Kingdom of Spain and the Principality of Andorra. His diplomatic appointment though, is but the culmination of a string of achievements in the maritime industry, which started in 1979 when he founded the Philippine Transmarine Carriers (PTC).
Over the last 38 years PTC has diversified to become PTC Holdings. Today, PTC Holdings has interests in shipping and shipping services, real estate development, energy and fuel distribution, as well as in aviation, hospitality and leisure, travel and healthcare.
Back in the mid-1970s, Salinas was one of the business leaders who responded to the call of the government for private sector support in building the country’s maritime industry. Recognizing the strong desire of government to place the Philippines as a leading maritime nation, Salinas together with like-minded shipping executives, helped install a strong and workable government-private sector partnership, which became the foundation for sustained dialogues among industry stakeholders and government.
Salinas has dedicated time and effort to providing valuable advice to government on the global maritime landscape, including emerging shipping technologies and developments. The Philippines’ concerns during those years revolved around coping with the introduction of container ships and roll-on/roll-off vessels, unitization in cargo handling, and the growing demand for the implementation of the cargo sharing scheme or 40-40-20 arrangement under the Liner Code.
In addition, there was the need to address the dismal safety record of the domestic fleet and attacks on the integrity of the Philippine flag-registry. Salinas figured prominently in the consultative meetings and discussions on these subjects, and eloquently expounded on the issues and proposed measures to meet the challenges.
At the time, the Philippines started to gain prominence as a seafaring country, and government was aiming to increase and develop the national merchant fleet in response to the growing demands for bottoms to carry domestic and international trade. Salinas was one of the shipping executives who readily extended support to the Philippine aspiration for a progressive maritime industry.
Salinas was appointed a member of the Board of the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) representing the private sector and thus, was an active participant in policy-making, specifically articulating the requirements to bring about a developed and competitive Philippine maritime industry. Likewise, his stint as member of the Board of Trustees of the National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP), Philippine Merchant Marine Academy (PMMA) and the Technical Panel of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) afforded him the opportunity to share with these agencies wider industry perspective, an important component of policy-formulation and rule-making processes in the maritime field.
Salinas’ affiliation with the Filipino Shipowners Association (FSA) dates back to 1987 where he served as President, Chairman, and Chairman Emeritus. Attendant to being FSA President was taking on the role of representing the shipowners in the Maritime Safety Coordinating Council and Maritime Development Task Force of the Department of Transportation and Communications (now Department of Transportation). He was also the private sector representative of the Philippine Tripartite Delegation to the International Labor Organization (ILO), which formulated the Maritime Labor Convention of 2006.
In the international maritime sphere, Salinas was actively involved in various maritime associations such as the International Shipping Federation of London, as member and Vice President; Federation of Asean Shipowners Association where he acted as Chairman; and as member of the Asian Shipowners Forum and the Lloyds Register of Shipping East Committee.
For his contribution to the country’s maritime industry, Salinas was given the first Marina TIMONEL Award, the highest recognition given to private individuals for services rendered to the government. The Lloyd’s Ship Manager of London in 2010 honored him with a Lifetime Achievement and Leadership Excellence Award for his illustrious career in shipping.
Salinas was conferred two Presidential awards by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the Most Inspiring Maritime Service Entrepreneur Award and the Presidential Medal of Merit. He was also honored with the Order of Sikatuna, Grand Cross Gold Distinction Award by President Benigno Aquino 3rd for his exceptional and meritorious service in fortifying cultural and bilateral relations, political alliance, and economic diplomacy between the Philippines and Spain.
Salinas prizes the award the University of Sto. Tomas, his alma mater, has given to him: The Outstanding Thomasian Alumni Award for his outstanding leadership and extraordinary achievements worthy of emulation by all Thomasians.
Amb. Salinas has so distinguished himself in his international undertakings as to be recognized by the royalties in countries he had the opportunities to deal with. In 1992, His Majesty King Harald V of Norway conferred upon the Ambassador the Royal Order of Merit with Rank of Commander for his outstanding contributions to the growth and development of Philippine-Norwegian maritime relations. Just last May 10, the King of Spain, Felipe VI, represented by Spanish Ambassador to the Philippines Luis Calvo, conferred on Salinas the Royal Award – the Grand Cross of Isabel the Catholic (Gran Cruz de la Orden de Isabel la Catolica).
The Royal Award is one the highest decorations granted by the Kingdom of Spain and over the last two hundred years, has been given only to a select few distinguished individuals who have extended meritorious and extraordinary service towards the development of friendship and cooperation between the Kingdom of Spain and the community of nations. In receiving this latest award, the Ambassador summed up his career as an entrepreneur, industry leader and diplomat, saying, “The call to public service was a chance of a lifetime for me to learn, to grow, to give back in the service of others and in so doing, to come full circle.”