MANILA – In line with the continuous improvement of maritime education, training, and certification system in the Philippines, two maritime educational programs are now due for final approval of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) en banc.

This follows the final revisions made by the Technical Panel for Maritime Education (TPME), comprised of representatives from the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), CHED, as well as officials from the industry and the academe, on the proposed revised policies, standards, and guidelines (PSG) on the conduct of the Bachelor of Science in Marine Transportation (BSMT) and the Bachelor of Science in Marine Engineering (BSMarE).

The proposed revised PSG underwent public consultations and deliberations during the TPME meetings. Specifically, maritime stakeholders deliberated on provisions concerning the authority to operate of maritime higher educational institutions (MHEIs), as well as the application and verification processes, and the minimum requirements prior to the granting of permit and recognition. The sanctions against unauthorized MHEIs are also provided under the proposed revised PSG.

Further, maritime stakeholders discussed the conduct of regular curriculum review and internal evaluation to ensure continued compliance of MHEIs with the Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping for (STCW) Seafarers Convention 1978, as amended.

The MARINA is working double-time to improve the existing PSG on BSMT and BSMarE to maintain the Philippines’ status as one of the top sources of competent seafarers who, apart from manning and leading internationally-flagged vessels, also contributed approximately PhP300 billion worth of remittance in 2017.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has expressed its full support to the MARINA in beefing up the competence of Filipino maritime manpower, guided by the STCW Convention 1978, as amended, pursuant to its mandate as the single maritime administration under Executive Order No. 63.

“I commend the MARINA for its efforts to uphold our position in the international maritime community by ensuring uncompromising compliance with international laws and conventions. There is no better time than now to further promote the welfare and enhance the proficiency of Filipino seafarers as we recognize their invaluable contribution to the national economy,” DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said.

MARINA Officer-in-Charge Vice Admiral Narciso A Vingson Jr likewise encouraged maritime stakeholders to remain committed in establishing a conducive learning environment and providing quality learning experience to aspiring Filipino seafarers for the overall development of the Philippine maritime industry.

“Let us keep our passion burning for the continued improvement of the industry. Our Filipino seafarers remain to be our prime assets, so we should not waver in our efforts to continually raise their competence,” Vice Admiral Vingson added.