BACOLOD CITY – To further capacitate the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) personnel, as well as increase the capabilities of maritime professionals all over the archipelago, the MARINA inaugurated its own training, research development arm – the MARINA Training Institute (MarTI) at Panaad Park, Brgy. Mansilingan, Bacolod City in Negros Occidental on 24 May 2022.

The MarTI’s operationalization aims 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.

To commemorate the event, which was led by MARINA Administrator Vice Admiral Robert A Empedrad, alongside with several officials of the Agency, a ribbon cutting ceremony with Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson was held to kick-start the inauguration.

MARINA Regional Office VI (MRO 6) Regional Director and MARINA Training Institute (MarTI) Training Director Ms. Felisa N. Orongan delivered her opening remarks, expressing her thankfulness that even though there may be challenges encountered along the way before the building could be occupied as a training institute, all of them were addressed through the strong support of Administrator Empedrad. “Through our collective efforts, we were able to see this day and celebrate the joy of a dream coming true. The realization of having the MarTI in this building and in this region is one of those awesome displays of God’s outworking through the MARINA.”

Negros Occidental Governor Lacson, on the other hand, stated that the inauguration of the MARINA’s academic arm is a welcome development for the province. “This building will pave the way for the improvement of the capacities of MARINA to adapt to the fast-changing trends in the maritime industry and to serve as an effective training and education facility for all maritime professionals.”

As part of the program, a brief history regarding the MarTI, entitled “How MarTI Came to Be”, was presented to the participants from Local Government Units (LGUs), Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Maritime Higher Education Institutions (MHEIs)/Maritime Training Institutions (MTIs), shipping operators, shipyards, and other maritime stakeholders. Aside from virtual tour, this showcased the Agency officials who took the lead in providing efforts to realize the MARINA’s own training and research development arm.

For his part, Administrator Empedrad mentioned the three (3) major anchors that leads to the inauguration of MarTI – a verse from the Bible which is Luke 6:40, stating “Students are not greater than their teachers but the student who is fully trained will become like the teacher.”; the Program 9 of the 10-Year Maritime Industry Development Plan (MIDP) which is the Establishment of the Maritime Innovation and Knowledge Center (MIKC); and one of his 10-Point Agenda, which is to ensure that MARINA personnel are capacitated by providing them the best available training possible.

Further, Administrator Empedrad emphasized that all the MARINA personnel must be trained first before the Agency will be able to provide good and excellent training to the maritime professionals, to the crew of our ships, to the ship building, and to the whole maritime industry of the Philippines. “I always believe that the development of the maritime industry will catapult our country to become an economic powerhouse. Dapat unahin rin natin ang maritime industry development because we are an archipelagic nation. We have so many islands that are not connected. Ang pag-asa natin ay ang maritima.”

“The MarTI will likewise undertake, promote and coordinate related maritime research and development program. Ito ang pinakamahalaga. As far as I’m concerned, the most important aspect of the MARINA is the research and development, which can also be made into provision here in MarTI,” Administrator Empedrad added.

It may be remembered that last 11 February 2021, the Agency, through a virtual soft launching, had announced the opening of the MarTI in the four-story MARINA Regional Office – Western Visayas building.

Administrator Empedrad was joined by Deputy Administrator for Operations Engr. Nannette Villamor-Dinopol, OIC Deputy Administrator for Planning Ms. Sonia Malaluan, Shipyard Regulations Service (SRS) Director Engr. Ramon Hernandez, Management, Financial and Administrative Service (MFAS) Director Ms. Nenita Atienza, and Planning and Policy Service (PPS) Director Mr. Luisito Delos Santos.

Inaugural Training Modules

The inauguration ceremony of MarTI also featured two training courses.

“We are conducting two (2) training courses composed of 69 participants from the MARINA and our stakeholders, and we are giving these for free. Ito ‘yung aming tinatawag na ‘selfless service’ to our industry. Tutulungan naming ang lahat ng nangangailangan ng training to make them experts,” Administrator Empedrad also mentioned.

The MARINA, through its Shipyards Regulation Service (SRS), led by Director Engr. Hernandez, conducted its first face-to-face capacity-building training, which was the Intact Stability Training (Track 2), for the MARINA personnel from MARINA Central and Regional Offices on 24-26 May 2022. This training revolved around the conduct of Inclining Test and Lightweight Survey, Basic Intact Stability and the Requirements and Criteria for different types of ships, as well as the latest discussions and developments of intact stability in the IMO.

In an inspirational message, Deputy Administrator for Operations Engr. Dinopol reminded the participants to comprehend not only the lectures but also the case studies which will help the MARINA to apply theoretical concepts on existing ships and enhance our capability to translate skills and knowledge into efficient work.

The other training course was the Modified Basic Safety Training (MBST) for Crews of Ships 35 GT below, which was held by the MARINA Regional Office VI, led by its Regional Director and MARINA Training Institute (MarTI) Training Director Ms. Orongan.