By Charissa Luci-Atienza
ACTS-OFW Rep. Aniceto Bertiz III on Sunday rallied behind the efforts of the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to keenly supervise the quality of education programs for future ship officers.
He cited that the joint tight watch of MARINA and CHED over maritime schools would bolster the global competitiveness of Filipino sailors in the years ahead.
“We support the combined efforts of the Maritime Industry Authority and the Commission on Higher Education to superintend the quality of the Bachelor of Science in Marine Transportation and the Bachelor of Science in Marine Engineering programs being supplied by maritime schools,” he said in a statement.
“We have to constantly upgrade the quality of the two education programs if we are to keep our competitive edge in the deployment of merchant ship officers to global labor markets,” Bertiz said.
He noted that graduates of the two marine education programs, once licensed and certified, become ship officers – masters, chief mates, officers-in-charge of a navigational watch, chief engineers, second engineers and officers-in-charge of engineering watch.
“This is also about ensuring that our domestic ships here at home are run by the best sailors that live up to the highest operating and safety standards,” Bertiz said.
“We are after all an archipelago that relies heavily on efficient and safe inter-island shipping to move people and goods,” he added.
He earlier noted this year, the remittance of overseas Filipino sailors is projected to top the $6-billion mark.
He observed that as the global economy continues to grow, there will be continued deployment of Filipino sailors abroad.
“The number of Philippine-educated sailors and other staff deployed on foreign ocean-going vessels, including those on cruise ships and floating casinos, is likely to surpass the 500,000-mark for the first time this year,” Bertiz said.