Dr. Conrado F. Oca, president and chairman of Associated Marine Officers’ and Seamen’s Union of the Philippines (AMOSUP) has underscored the importance of rightful shipboard training for midshipmen and midshipwomen or cadets, stressing that upon completion of the training, the avenue opens up for their life at sea as professional merchant mariners.
Dr. Oca, now at the helm of the union long held by his father master mariner Capt. Gregorio S. Oca, urged students of Maritime Academy of Asia the Pacific (MAAP) who will be assigned for “actual training” on-board the Academy’s new training ship 70-meter typ (ts) M/V Kapitan Gregorio Oca (KGO) now skippered by Capt. Romeo Napenas, commanding officer, stressed that “trainees must maximize this opportunity to be professionally competitive, worthy of being called “world-class seafarers.”
“Their graduation from the Academy and completion of shipboard training will certainly be their best weapon in getting started with the profession. The rest will be on their own, notably on their work agility and competency as they set out and sail forward.”
Dr. Oca said: “In order to produce the best of our Filipino seafarers, comprehensive training coupled with discipline and hard work must be in place,” “although we consider their potentials, perseverance and passion.”
“We are duty-bound to provide them excellent maritime education and training (MET), and so we equip our students with knowledge, technical skills and the necessary tools and opportunities to better hone their capabilities,” during the recent unveiling, commissioning and maiden send off in Philippine waters of the newly Japan-built MAAP training ship KGO last Jan. 31 at Pier 15 of Manila South Harbor.
Dr. Oca expressed his gratitude to AMOSUP partners particularly the International Mariners’ Management Association of Japan (IMMAJ) headed by Capt. Koichi Akamine and All-Japan Seamen’s Union (AJSU) led by it president Mr. Yasumi Morita for the trust and confidence reposed In AMOSUP, and made KGO a “reality.”
On a personal note, he expressed the gratefulness of his family for naming the ship in honor of AMOSUP’s founding father Capt. Gregorio Sta. Cruz Oca, his father.
For his part, MAAP President retired Navy chief VAd Eduardo Ma. R. Santos explained: “‘The act of commissioning a ship is a cherished maritime tradition and of prime importance in a ship’s life.”
This is one of the most significant events in the life of the of a ship as it marks her readiness to commence operations.
“The time-honored tradition comes after the keel-laying, christening and launching, and culminates in commissioning to help welcome the ship into the fleet.” MAAP led by Santos officially accepted the ship into the Academy’s service at past 3 pm last Jan. 31.
Santos added: “We have gone through a long tedious process – from the drawing boards to the construction at Miho Shipyard in Miho, Shimmizu-ku, Shizuoka City, Japan , to the naming and launching ceremonies in that nearing 100-year-old tested shipyard, and finally the turnover in the Philippines – which was all worth it, until we saw M/V Kapitan Gregorio Oca in her full glory and beauty entering the historic Manila Bay and docked off at Pier 15 of South Harbor. The KGO, he said, will now be a training platform and laboratory of MAAP, to continue its MET mission, as a leading provider of highly skilled, hardworking officers and seamen in the days to come.