MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), through a virtual soft launching, has announced on Thursday the opening of the MARINA Training Institute (MarTI) located in the four-story MARINA Regional Office – Western Visayas building situated inside the Panaad Park in Barangay Mansilingan, Bacolod City.

The MarTI, as an academic arm of the MARINA, is envisioned to be the country’s Maritime Innovation and Knowledge Center under the Program 8 of the 10-Year Maritime Industry Development Plan – providing, not only national, but global maritime leadership training.

The operationalization of MarTI is aimed to improve the capacity of MARINA and other partners to innovate and operate modern technologies, to spearhead programs to help the country tackle the changing trends in the maritime industry and to serve as a systematic educational and training system and facilities for all maritime professionals. Hence, the conduct of research shall form part of the operation of the MarTI to ensure that its plans and programs are responsive to the needs of industry.
The soft launching program was attended by members of the Maritime Industry Board and Management, and representatives from various sectors of the industry.

In the keynote message delivered by MARINA Administrator Vice Admiral Robert A Empedrad, he related how fast knowledge expands and how swift modernization happens specially in the development and advancement in communications technology as applied to navigation.

“Maritime sector is a very progressive and fast-paced industry; and if MARINA and its stakeholders will not act accordingly, the Philippine Maritime Industry will be left behind. That’s is the reason for the immediate operationalization of the MarTI,” Administrator Empedrad pointed out.

Deputy Administrator for Operations (DAO) Engr. Nannette Z. Villamor-Dinopol, meanwhile, expressed compliments not only for the officials and staff of the agency but also for all stakeholders and partners who participated during the formulation of the MIDP.

“If the MarTI is to take firm roots in the Philippines and grow in continuity, what is needed most is the abiding interest of everyone and the partnership of maritime stakeholders. Through the MarTI, the MARINA will be committed to an ever-prospering bond of knowledge and innovation collaboration between the government and its partners in the years to come,” Engr. Dinopol said.

For its maiden project, the MarTI previously hosted a 3-day webinar on the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments, which is based on the MEPSEAS Training Course on the Legal Implementation of the Ballast Water Management Convention. It is designed to provide a common set of knowledge and skills to all participants to enable them to take appropriate action in their various capacities towards the implementation of the Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention.

The MarTI, which will be headed by designated Officer-in-Charge Ms. Presca Lee B. Lugo, one of the Maritime Education and Training Standards Supervisors of the MARINA STCW Office, will operate virtually in observance of safety and health protocols being implemented in line with the measures to control the spread of COVID-19. Ms. Lugo is also the Chairperson of Expert Group 2 of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Seafarers Excellence Network or the APEC SEN Expert Group 2, the group designated for Seafarers’ Better Welfare.