MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), together with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), the Philippine Merchant Marine Academy (PMMA), and the maritime higher education institutions (MHEIs) across the country, revamped the Philippine maritime education programs through the National Consultation on the Joint CHED Memorandum – MARINA Circular on the Revised Policies, Standards, and Guidelines for the Bachelor of Science in Marine Transportation (BSMT) and Bachelor of Science in Marine Engineering (BSMarE) programs on 15 January 2019.

The participating government agencies and the private sector worked on the realignment of the Philippine maritime education policies and regulations with Executive Order No. 63 that mandated the MARINA as the single maritime administration in the full and effective implementation of the Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) Convention 1978, as amended.

MARINA Officer-in-Charge Vice Admiral Narciso Vingson Jr emphasized that the Joint CHED Memorandum – MARINA Circular addresses the need for a more responsive policy to ensure the competitiveness of the Philippines’ BSMT and BSMarE graduates, based on international standards.

“Our commitment to the STCW Convention shall lead us to the full adoption and implementation of the STCW requirements in our maritime education and training system. As the country’s single maritime administration, it is our goal to implement a set of maritime education program standards and consolidate all academic and shipboard training requirements under a set of national policy, standards, and guidelines,” Vice Admiral Vingson said.

Vice Admiral Vingson also recognized the combined efforts of the MARINA, CHED, PMMA and MHEIs in defining the developmental goals and targets of the Philippine maritime education and training, as well as in raising awareness on the impact of the whole of government approach for sustainable development in the maritime landscape, most especially in the maritime workforce.

Among the issues discussed at the national public hearing were the BSMT and BSMarE program specifications, standards of competence, assessment, and conferment of the said degrees. Also raised were clarifications on the curriculum; course specifications; required facilities, and equipment; research and extension; quality standards system; admission and retention; compliance of MHEIs, and; miscellaneous provisions, among others.

The results of the consultation were discussed further by the Technical Panel for Maritime Education (TPME), for recommendation to the commission en banc of CHED. The improvements on the revised policies, standards, and guidelines for the Bachelor BSMT and BSMarE programs are scheduled to be forwarded to MHEIs in December 2019 and for full implementation in 2020, with the Philippine Merchant Marine Academy (PMMA) as the lead implementer.

Before adjournment, the MARINA encourages participating stakeholders to continuously contribute in the continuing recognition of the Philippines as the world’s top provider of world class and globally competitive seafarers.