By Emmie V. Abadilla
The Maritime Industry Authority (Marina), together with other state agencies, are revamping the country’s maritime education programs to comply with international standards.
“Our commitment to the Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) Convention shall lead us to its full adoption and implementation in our maritime education and training system,” pledged Marina Officer-in-Charge Vice Admiral Narciso Vingson Jr.
“As the country’s single maritime administration, our goal is to implement a set of maritime education program standards and consolidate all academic and shipboard training requirements under a set of national policy, standards, and guidelines,” he stressed.
The agency works with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), the Philippine Merchant Marine Academy (PMMA), and the maritime higher education institutions (MHEIs) across the country to define the developmental goals and targets of Philippine maritime education and training.
In a recent national public hearing, they discussed program specifications, standards of competence, assessment and conferment for the Bachelor of Science in Marine Transportation (BSMT) and Bachelor of Science in Marine Engineering (BSMarE).
They also raised clarifications on the curriculum; course specifications; required facilities, and equipment; research and extension; quality standards system; admission and retention; compliance of MHEIs, and miscellaneous provisions.
The results of the consultation were discussed further by the Technical Panel for Maritime Education (TPME), for recommendation CHED.
The improvements on the revised policies, standards, and guidelines for the Bachelor BSMT and BSMarE programs are scheduled to be forwarded to MHEIs in December 2019 and for full implementation in 2020, with the Philippine Merchant Marine Academy (PMMA) as the lead implementer.
The participating government agencies and the private sector worked on the realignment of the Philippine maritime education policies and regulations with Executive Order No. 63 that mandated the Marina as the single maritime administration.