MANILA – The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) conducted a Webinar on Ease of Doing Business, providing updates regarding seafarer-related initiatives, last 10 September 2021, via the Zoom online platform.

The said webinar is in response to the call of the Philippine government to all government agencies to adopt simplified procedures in delivering services to the public that will reduce red tape and expedite transactions, thus adhering to the provisions of Republic Act No. 11032, “An Act Promoting Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Delivery of Government Services, amending for the Purpose Republic Act No. 9485 Otherwise Known as the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007, and for Other Purposes.”

In his welcoming remarks, the Deputy Executive Director of the STCW Office, Capt. Jeffrey P. Solon cordially welcomed all the attendees which included seafarers, Licensed Manning Agencies (LMAs), Maritime Organizations, as well as MARINA officials and employees both from Central Office and Regional Offices.

“This webinar on Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018 is indeed very timely because in this time of uncertainties in human health and global economic turmoil, it is just right that the administration must also actively take part, along with other government agencies, in the government’s initiatives to simplify the delivery of services for all concerned individuals and agencies,” Capt. Solon stated.

Capt Solon also added that he is proud to say that the MARINA has been effectively practicing the Republic Act 11032, and that it will continue to do so to ensure that the needed provisions of the people will be provided.
Meanwhile, Mr. Joebert S. Sobrevega of the Manpower Development Services (MDS) and Mr. Virvic Paul C. Erese of Certification Division of the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) Office outlined on their presentations the different initiatives of the MARINA in compliance with the aforementioned Republic Act.

In his presentation, Mr. Joebert S. Sobrevega of the MDS highlighted the improvements in the processing of Seafarer’s Record Book (SRB) and Seafarer’s Identification Document (SID), including the MARINA (Anti-Red Tape Act) ARTA Compliance in the fifteen (15) total issued SRB and SID Advisories. He also articulated the importance of these advisories to provide guidance, not only for the MARINA, but also to the clients and stakeholders. Moreover, he featured the specific updates and new features of the MARINA Online Appointment System (OAS).

Mr. Sobrevega also presented an audio-visual presentation detailing the step-by-step process in securing a regular appointment for SRB and SID in the MARINA OAS, as well as the expedite processing of such documents.

Succeedingly, Mr. Virvic Paul C. Erese, the Division Chief of the Certification Division of the STCW Office, presented the updates regarding the processing of the certificates amid the difficulties brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the highlights of his presentation include the MARINA Integrated Seafarers Management Online (MISMO) System for online appointments of STCW-related certificates’ issuance and revalidation, and the effects of utilizing the MISMO System to the MARINA and its clients.

Mr. Erese further echoed the initiatives undertaken by the MARINA, pursuant to Section 5 of the RA 11032, the “Reengineering of Systems and Procedures”, where the processing site of these certificates in the MARINA Central Office has been branched out to different locations in the NCR-SM Manila, PITX and MARINO Action Center. Relative to the ARTA, he also reiterated the efforts of the MARINA to comply with its provisions, by acquainting the audience on the released advisories related to the Certification Division, which are very helpful for the seafarers most especially in these difficult times.

The presentations were then followed by an open forum, where the audience proactively delivered their questions and brought out their concerns to the presenters and the MARINA officials.

Lastly, in his closing remarks, STCW Office Executive Director Vice Admiral Rene V Medina AFP (Ret) recognized the seafarers, as key workers in this time of pandemic, as “our national treasure”. He pointed out the need for guidance of these seafarers when it comes to STCW policies, and thus encouraged every one of them to not just read, but internalize the Agency’s policies.

“I hope you will always remember that MARINA’s continued service to the public is our way to make things better. Rest assured that MARINA will continue to endeavor to give better, effective, and efficient service to all of our clientele,” Vice Admiral Medina emphasized.

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