By Emmie V. Abadilla
The Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) has developed a new e-Certification System to hasten the processing and issuance of certificates, enabling the agency to deliver them online so seafarers need not endure long queues or deal with fixers.
The new certification system ensures the integrity of Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) certificates, along with faster and more secured services, according to Marina OIC Vice Admiral Narciso A Vingson Jr.
“We want our seafarers to maximize their time and hard-earned money for their families. Before, they have to endure the long lines at the Central Office, without the assurance of getting their certificates on the same day. With this new system, they can process and receive their certificates on their most convenient time, date and place, far from fixers and illegal activities,” he pointed out.
Under the new system, Marina integrated the core processes of its STCW Office for a standard Maritime Education and Training (MET) Program along with the issuance of authority to operate among Marina-recognized maritime education and training institutions, assessment of competence of aspiring seafarers and certification of qualified seafarers in accordance with the STCW Convention.
To ensure the Philippines’ continued production of world-class seafarers, the Marina STCW Office is implementing a comprehensive quality management system divided into three stages – preparation, implementation and evaluation.
The preparation stage features a MET program which sets the minimum standards for the education and training of aspiring seafarers .
The Philippine Merchant Marine Academy establishes the maritime education program while MARINA crafts the maritime training course packages with inputs from technical experts.