Issue 6

16th Joint Committee on Maritime Affairs vows continued hiring of Filipino seafarers

Issue 6 Cover Photo

HEADS OF delegations of the 16th Philippines-Netherlands Joint Committee on Maritime Affairs sign anew their resolves on maintaining maritime cooperation between both nations. MARINA administrator Dr. Maximo Q Mejia Jr is seated with counterpart Director of Maritime Affairs Brigit Gijsbers of the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment of the Kingdom of the Netherlands this May 18th at the Hotel H2O in Manila, Philippines.

Story LeadThe Philippine delegation, composed mainly of members from the MARINA administration, presents ongoing undertakings on the following issues: the K-12 system; compliance and enforcement procedures related to maritime education and training institutions; the enhanced support level program, ESLP, which is scheduled for implementation this school year; transfer of functions from the Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC) to MARINA; the International Maritime Organization’s coordinated task force on technical assistance to the Philippines with the involvement of member nations Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Norway; the issuance and verification of certificates of proficiency (COPs) and competency (COCs); and the updating of maritime courses for compliance to the 2010 Manila Amendment on Standards Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers.

Ms. Gijsbers appreciates the clear explanation on the aforementioned items. MARINA administrator Dr. Maximo Q Mejia Jr meanwhile mentions that additional capacity building measures are being studied with Canada about e-learning or distance learning for seafarers, with the United Kingdom in areas related to inspection and with Finland regarding training on the administration of standards training, certification and watchkeeping for seafarers. Mejia also specifies briefly the possibility of sending MARINA personnel to the Netherlands to learn of best practices in yet other aspects of maritime affairs.

Already, since the compliance requirement to the 2010 Manila Amendment, MARINA has set forth nine policies on the issuance of certificates where certificates of proficiency (COPs) issued has numbered almost two million. Also, a real-time certificate verification system for COC or COP, radio personnel (GMDSS), and marine deck officers and engineers are available at the STCWO website (

The Philippine delegation is headed by MARINA administrator Dr. Maximo Q Mejia Jr with representatives from MARINA, the Commission on Higher Education, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, the Philippine Ports Auhority, the Philippine Coast Guard, the Bureaus of Customs and of Immigration, the National Economic Development Authority, the Palompon Institute of Technology, the Departments of Foreign Affairs, of Transportation and Communications, of Education, of Health and the stakeholders.

On the other hand, members of the delegation from the Netherlands is composed of: Ringo Lakeman from the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment; Tineke Netelenbos and Tjitso Westra from the Royal Association of Netherlands Shipowners; Jan Willem Verhoeff and Albert Bos from the ScheepvartEn Transport College; and Netherlands Ambassadeur Marion Derckx with PLV Ambassadeur Ruth Emmerink and Patricia Alvenida.



More stories:
Shipyards formalize national association
Mejia leads oath-taking rites for first batch of passers of new computer-based exams
News of storm causes traffic queue in Matnog
Figures that matter


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The Philippine candidate for IMO Secretary-General

Maximo Q Mejia Jr

THE PHILIPPINES is proud to put forward Dr. Maximo Q. Mejia Jr. as its candidate for the post of Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization. With education and experience in maritime affairs spanning three decades, awareness and exposure across all the world’s continents, and an inclusive and results-oriented leadership style, Dr. Mejia possesses the qualities necessary to build on the work of past Secretaries-General and lead the Organization to further success: streamlined administration, effective implementation of standards, and a positive image of the maritime sector.

Maritime Competence
With education and experience in maritime affairs spanning three decades, awareness and exposure across all the world’s continents, and an inclusive and results-oriented leadership style, Dr. Mejia possesses the qualities necessary to build on the work of past Secretaries-General and lead the Organization to further success: streamlined administration, effective implementation of standards, and a positive image of the maritime sector.

In Dr. Mejia we can expect a competent leader, skilled at mediating between the interests of states and stakeholders, while at the same time taking a determined stance on maritime safety, security, and environmental protection.

Sidebar 1WITH a professional career spent exclusively in the maritime sector, Dr. Mejia’s technical credentials, competence, and experience have been accumulated over three decades. Starting as a 19-year-old midshipman in the United States Naval Academy, he has moved on to serve in the following capacities:
• OIC of navigational watch on board Philippine Navy & Coast Guard ships
• Commanding Officer, Port State Control Office Manila
• Station Commander, Coast Guard Station Iligan
• Deputy Executive Director, Presidential Task Force on Maritime Development
• Director for Navigational Safety, Philippine Coast Guard
• Professor of Maritime Law & Policy, World Maritime University
• Administrator, Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA)

His formal education has been a consistent and increasing specialization in maritime affairs, law, and policy:
• BSc, United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD, USA
• MALD, Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy, Medford, MA, USA
• MSc, World Maritime University, Malmö, Sweden
• PhD, Lund University, Lund, Sweden

Dr. Mejia is thoroughly familiar with the work of IMO. He has attended various IMO meetings since 1994 and has headed delegations from the Philippines in recent years. He has served as a member of the IMO-STCW Panel of Competent Persons and has for 15 years served as a resident member of faculty at the World Maritime University (WMU), IMO’s apex institution for higher maritime studies. Through his many years as professor, he was afforded the privilege of teaching, interacting, and engaging in open discussion with maritime officials from all over the world undergoing graduate studies at the WMU.

International Profile and Recognition
INTERNATIONAL cooperation plays a vital role in addressing the most pressing issues that relate to maritime safety, security, and environmental protection, especially during these challenging times. Whether education or seafarers certification, or even the ratification of environmental conventions, down to providing guidance for the improvement of domestic ferry safety, Dr. Mejia’s extensive experience in cross-national and cross-cultural situations makes him a most suitable mediator or bridge between worlds.

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He hails from East Asia, one of the most vibrant regions for maritime commerce today. Yet he also lived in the US for seven years and in Sweden for 17 years, and experienced and witnessed first-hand the resilience and adaptability of the shipping sectors in the more established maritime economies of Europe and North America. He is productive and at ease working in multi-cultural environments with different teams of varied nationalities. He has also taught and spoken at international conferences in more than 30 different countries. In 2013, Dr. Mejia was cited in the Lloyd’s List 100 Most Influential People in the Shipping Industry ̶ a testament to both international recognition and respect. His truly international outlook will be put to good service at the IMO.

Dynamic leadership, creative solutions
DR. MEJIA’s dynamism exudes an abiding faith in the power of cooperation, the strength of consensus, and the understanding achieved through open communication.

Image 3He is known for creative solutions to the most complex maritime issues. He is the architect of current reform efforts in the system of STCW implementation in the Philippines that has involved more than a dozen government agencies and the private sector interest groups.

He coordinated and steered the government response to the transport crisis in the ferry town of Matnog in the aftermath of the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan.

At WMU, Dr. Mejia participated in initiatives from concept to launch and execution, including the publication series WMU Studies in Maritime Affairs, the WMU Doctoral Studies Program, and the WMU-Lund Joint Maritime LLM Program.

Dr. Mejia’s management style is inclusive, characterized by regular public consultations, dialogues with stakeholders, and an open-office policy. A sense of duty with a can-do attitude pervades his work ethic. He listens, is open-minded, and learns from others’ points-of-view. He is prepared to engage partners appropriately at every level.


A global vision for IMO
AS Secretary-General, Dr. Mejia will work tirelessly with member-states, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations to maintain and secure IMO’s role as the venue for the formulation of global standards for shipping. Safety and efficiency in maritime transport can only be afforded by international — not unilateral or regional — regulations.

In broad strokes, below are some of Dr. Mejia’s priority areas for the Organization.

Maritime safety
The promotion of maritime safety remains the most important function of the IMO. Even as it expands its activities beyond its traditional functions, the focus and emphasis on maritime safety must remain its most primordial concern.

Human element, seafarer welfare, safety, and competence
When the global economy recovers and demand for shipping services begins to surge, so will the demand for qualified seafarers through the STCW Convention, while at the same time safeguarding their rights and welfare.

Maritime environmental protection
In formulating standards for the protection of the marine environment, the Organization must ensure that international shipping stays ahead of other transport modes in contributing to the pursuit of a sustainable future.

Maritime security
Piracy, armed robbery against ships, transport of migrants under substandard conditions, and other unlawful acts at sea continue to threaten maritime security. The sharing of best practices and implementation of regulations and other measures must be followed with regional discussions on socioeconomic factors that abet criminality.

Women in maritime
The world’s female population remains an enormous untapped source of competent and qualified maritime professionals. Greater effort should be taken to encourage their entry in the maritime industry, seagoing as well as shore-based.

Efficient formulation and effective implementation of standards
To ensure highest practicable regulations, the standards formulation process should strongly consider both capabilities and limitations of administrations and stakeholders. Also, effective implementation of existing IMO standards and instruments must be strengthened.

Organizational efficiency
IMO should pursue its ongoing drive towards greater efficiency, fiscal responsibility, and organizational reform. It should also take advantage of information and communications technology to optimize productivity in IMO meetings and processes.

Open, responsive, inclusive
Dr. Mejia will bring an inclusive approach and style to IMO, encouraging discussions with member-states, observer delegations, stakeholders, and the Secretariat, as well as continually reach out to collaborate with other international organizations.

Public diplomacy
IMO must engage the public in a comprehensive information campaign to highlight the Organization’s successes in promoting shipping as a responsible sector that provides the safest, most efficient, and sustainable mode of transport for world trade.

Technical cooperation
Technical cooperation programs are the best way to raise the level of compliance and implementation in many member-states; more creative ideas to secure funding for technical assistance programs must be developed.

Technology and innovation
IMO must formulate relevant regulations in a timely manner to ensure that technology contributes to common objectives, including the reduction of administrative burdens. Technology should simplify rather than complicate matters, with a focus on user-centered design. The fullest potentials of technology must be realized, but its risks must be properly managed at the same time.

Development of future maritime leaders
The IMO, through the World Maritime University, its apex institution for higher maritime studies, together with the International Maritime Law Institute, its training arm for developing maritime law specialists, must continue to produce and develop future maritime leaders and policymakers. In this connection, the long term financial sustainability of these two institutions must be secured.

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Download Dr. Mejia’s CV (678 Kb). 




Issue 5

“Communicate the good efforts done!” — Usec. Michael Musngi of the Office of the President

Issue 5 Cover Photo

THE MARITIME Industry Board meets regularly to discuss or approve matters, among its other powers and function, pertaining to the industry and is composed of DOTC Secretary, the MARINA Administrator, seated foreground-right, with other members from the Office of the President, the Philippine Ports Authority, the Department of Trade and Industry; the Development Bank of the Philippines, and the Philippine Coast Guard with two observers from the private sector.

Story LeadDivision reports or updates include comprehensive discussions on urgent concerns regarding domestic shipping, the seeking for advice and recommendation for developmental rules and regulations, and developments on the implementation of the standards of training, certification and watchkeeping of seafarers.

Items on the agenda that needed further study are scheduled for another day of discussion. Department of Transportation and Communications Undersecretary. for Project Implementation and Special Concerns Julianito G. Bucayan Jr, who also presides the meeting, advises MARINA chiefs concerned to provide the Board with more situational information and more updates so the issues can be further explored and appropriately deliberated on in succeeding meetings.

Addressing MARINA administrator Dr. Maximo Q Mejia Jr with all the division chiefs present during the assembly, Undersecretary Musngi says, “The continuing efforts in this agency is what President Aquino desires. This is good management.” Adjournment follows after Usec. Bucayan expresses his appreciation for the presence of everyone.

Inset PhotoMeanwhile, in related developments, the Board also confirms Atty. Herschel F. Magracia as head of office for the Enforcement Service. The office is in charge of implementing a culture of safety through the “Ligtas Biyaheng Dagat” program for all passenger and non-passenger ships, among its other responsibilities. It is composed of the operations monitoring and the complaints and investigation divisions.

Magracia is also concurrent division chief for the legal division of the STCW (Standards Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers) office.

To reach the Enforcement Service, the office is situtated at the 3/F, Parkview Plaza, Taft Avenue corner T.M. Kalaw Street, Ermita, Manila with email address; and telephone numbers 524-9126.



Other stories
PH, Germany discuss need for heightened cooperation in maritime transport
PH, Japan coast guards hold anti-piracy drills


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Issue 4

One-day IMO Conference ups PH resolve on safety of domestic ships operations
Manila Statement discusses enhancement of safety of ships carrying passengers on non-international voyages

FERRY PASSENGERS disembark ship that sailed from Aklan to the Port of Batangas.

FERRY PASSENGERS disembark ship that sailed from Aklan to the Port of Batangas.

Issue 4 LeadIMO’s continuous efforts and careful attention to improve the safety of sea and inland waters transport operations is part of its technical aid. The conference consists of a series of presentations from expert presentors and discussions with participants who shared knowledge and views on important issues affecting maritime industries.

The Manila Statement notes with great concern the unacceptable loss of lives and damage to environment and properties brought about by marine casualties and incidents involving domestic ferries. Though integral to national transport systems and usually the most affordable means of travel for the public and for transport of goods, domestic ferry operations is crucial for local economies. The statement is also conscious that operations of domestic ferries have environmental implications and that in some cases take place in environmentally sensitive areas.

Marine casualties and incidents can be avoided if adequate laws, regulations and rules are thoroughly developed, effectively implemented with a rigorous compliance oversight mechanism and vigorously enforced on a non-discriminatory manner and without interference.

Meanwhile, such laws, regulations and rules can only be:
(a) adequate if they address all foreseeable risks and include issues relating to the safety management and operation of such ships, including the education, training and proficiency of the shipboard personnel; and
(b) adequately implemented and enforced if the officials involved as surveyors and inspectors of ships, as auditors of safety management systems and as examiners for shipboard personnel and classification societies and organizations which governments authorize to survey, audit and certify for the compliance of domestic ferries and their employees have the required competencies.

The statement also recognizes the significant roles of:
(a) ship-to-shore and shore-to-ship radio communication services, the promulgation of weather forecasts and of the aids to navigation, including navigational charts, sailing directions and notices to mariners, in preventing marine casualties and incidents; and
(b) the search and rescue and emergency response services in mitigating the consequences of marine casualties.

The clauses recognized above strengthen the import of producing or providing reports of all marine casualties and incidents involving domestic ferries to marine safety investigation authorities; conducting marine safety investigation by skilled and competent investigators; identifying and publishing causal factors in marine safety investigation reports and the prompt and appropriate response and actions to identified causal factors.

Further, the statement recognizes that safety of domestic ferries is a shared responsibility between and among governments, local authorities, ship owners, ship managers, ship operators, shipboard personnel, maritime education and training institutions, classification societies and organizations which governments authorize to survey and certify for compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and rules; insurance providers, port authorities, port terminal owners and operators, and the public and civil society as users of the services provided.

Other prominent points requiring urgent attention included in the Manila Statement deal with tools in identification of hazards in fact finding and scoping study; setting of navigation areas for ASEAN countries; improvement and harmonization of safety standards under the ASEAN-Japan partnership project; guidelines for the purchase of second-hand ships, ships subject to change of route or area of operation, and ships subject to modification or conversion; and guidelines for the counting of persons on board, voyage planning, and enforcement activities undertaking by maritime administrations.

The intensive one-day conference is attended by delegations from Australia, Cambodia, Canada, China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Norway, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, and the Republic of Korea. Also present are non-government observers from the International Chamber of Shipping, International Asoociation of Classification Societies, Interferry, the Worldwide Ferry Safety Association; observers from higher education institutions, World Maritime Universtity and University of Strathclyde (UK); and an obserserver from the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, an inter- governmental organization.


Other stories:
IMO Sec-Gen Koji Sekimizu is conferred the Order of Sikatuna
What is the Order of Sikatuna?
CSC 2nd career service prof and sub-prof written exams slated Oct. 18
House delegation promotes PH role in global maritime affairs in Washington
Fellowship dinner follows IMO conference


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Issue 1

Through continuous monitoring and supervision
STCWO steps up to strengthen Filipino seafarers’ competency level in skills, learning and proficiency

TWENTY-TWO PARTICIPANTS, all dedicated and qualified assessors from both MARINA and CHED, intently listen to Dr. Manuel’s lecture during the week-long Professional Development Course on Assessment, Examination, and Certification of Seafarers for Assessors, Examiners, and Administrators at the H2O Hotel and Convention Hall in Manila, March 9-13, 2015.
TWENTY-TWO PARTICIPANTS, all dedicated and qualified assessors from both MARINA and CHED, intently listen to Dr. Manuel’s lecture during the week-long Professional Development Course on Assessment, Examination, and Certification of Seafarers for Assessors, Examiners, and Administrators at the H2O Hotel and Convention Hall in Manila, March 9-13, 2015.

A FIVE-DAY course designed to give participants the knowledge and skills for the assessment, examination, and certification of masters, officers, and ratings on board the world’s merchant fleet is titled Professional Development Course on Assessment, Examination, and Certification of Seafarers for Assessors, Examiners, & Administrators.

The course included to define specifics on the supervising and monitoring of Filipino seafarer’s competency level, as part of MARINA-STCWO’s function to issue, validate, verify, correct, revoke or cancel certificates of competency, endorse or cancel certificates of competency, proficiency, endorsement and documentary evidence that is required of all seafarers as provided in the STCW Convention 1978, as amended. Given to qualified assessors of both MARINA and CHED, the course training is part of the structural development the maritime agency continues to undergo since the enactment of Republic Act No. 10635, a law that establishes MARINA as a single maritime administration and enforcement agency of international convention on standards of training, certification and watchkeeping for seafarers.

Aimed to provide knowledge and skills for trainees to administer, supervise and monitor training and assessment of seafarer competence, the course is based on the requirements of STCW Regulation 1/6 and STCW Code A-I/6 — Training and assessment and with a consideration of the contents of IMO Model Course 3.12 — Assessment, examination and certification of seafarers. e course covers: overview of the development of the STCW Convention; structure and requirements of the STCW Convention and Code; process overview; review of international obligations; authority and organization for assessment, examination and certification of seafarers; quality systems; certificate requirements; approving training, assessment and records; oral and practical tests; shipboard assessment; the assessment process; developing performance improvement plan; maintenance of standards; administration; and requirements for high-speed crafts.

MARINA Administrator Maximo Q. Mejia Jr. is confident that maritime administrations and industry stakeholders around the world can be assured that Filipino seafarers’ competencies in skills, learning, and performance are according to international standards. With a “maritime industry that moves the world,” MARINA’s continuing upgrades in this industry will signi cantly raise its reputation as a premier maritime administration in this part of the world.

Sponsored by MARINA’s STCWO (Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers Office), the training takes place at the H2O Hotel and convention hall and concludes March 13.



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