A tribute to Jose Raul “Butch” Lamug, writes Andy Dalisay
He came to serve two generations of leaders when he accepted a job in a maritime union and later on headed its mother union’s newly-setup regional office in Asia Pacific.
Yet, when Jose Raul V Lamug left for his new post in Singapore in 2018, colleagues and friends in Manila almost never felt his absence – as though he was just attending meetings abroad for AMOSUP.
Each time he came home during the first few months from his new job, Jose Raul or “Butch” to colleagues and friends, would just drop by, sit at his old desk and chat with union officers and the staff. Most of the time, he would hand over chocolates to the office staff.
Butch began his career in the maritime industry in 1995 when AMOSUP founder and former president, Captain Gregorio S Oca, recruited him from an accounting firm as an “assistant to the president.” The captain saw Butch as a dependable “right hand” man fit for the vital role.
Butch joined AMOSUP when it was just in the process of building up its orgnisational strength in the employment of Filipino seafarers in international shipping following the success of mixed manning agreement from Japanese shipowners. At the same time, European owners and shipmanagers had begun to look into the Philippines as an alternative source of crew for their merchant fleet.
Later in his responsibilities, the captain let Butch tag along in his frequent trips overseas for business meetings with shipowners or negotiating collective agreements both with owners and heads of foreign unions. There were times he would just travel by himself abroad as an alter ego of the union president along with other AMOSUP officers.