First MARINA CoC issued in Cebu STCWO extension


On photo: MARINA Administrator Jun Mejia awards the very first ever CoC/CoE issued in the Cebu STCW Extension Office to Mr. Santiago R. Ayop Jr., OIC Navigational Watch. OIC Ayop is a graduate of the PMI Colleges Bohol and sails with Maine Marine Phils. Inc. With Dr. Mejia are STCWO Executive Director Capt. Herminio Estaniel and Cebu Regional Director Engr. Nanette Dinopol.

The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) inaugurated its STCWO Extension Office at the AMOSUP Seamen’s Hospital in Mandaue City, Cebu, on 26 April 2016. AMOSUP is the Associated Marine Officers’ and Seamen’s Union of the Philippines, the biggest seafarers union in the world. Representing MARINA at the ribbon cutting ceremony were Administrator Dr. Maximo Mejia, STCWO Executive Director Capt. Herminio Estaniel, STCWO Deputy Deputy Executive Director Atty. Jabeth Dacanay, Deputy Administrator for Regional Concerns Ch. Engr. Alfredo Haboc, and Cebu Regional Director Engr. Nanette Dinopol. Representing AMOSUP were Mr. Butch Lamug,  Special Assistant to the AMOSUP President, and Dr. Teody Alcantara, Medical Director of the Seaman’s Hospital. 

In his closing remarks, MARINA Administrator Dr. Mejia mentioned, “This is an ideal example of the many ways constructive partnership and collaboration lead to better service to the maritime public. The seafarers themselves, through AMOSUP, have partnered with government by providing MARINA with computer hardware units and free space for the Cebu STCWO Extension Office.

“Similarly, the ANGKLA PartyList, through its seat in the House of Representatives, have provided MARINA with both the legal framework and three regional office buildings necessary to ensure an efficient STCW administration. Seafarers in the region will no longer have to make special trips to Manila only for the issuance of their CoCs. (Certificates of Competency). We would like to thank Dr. Conrad Oca (AMOSUP) and Cong. Jess Manalo (ANGKLA) for their constructive engagement and unwavering support to MARINA. This devolution of STCW functions to Cebu relates to the issuance of Certificates of Competency (CoC) for merchant marine officers. This will be followed eventually by devolution to other regions such as Mindanao and Western Visayas. A strong and efficient STCW administration is not built overnight, but with the kind of support that the seafaring sector is receiving from both AMOSUP’s Dr. Oca and ANGKLA’s Cong. Manalo, I am confident that the coming years will see the Philippines with a certification system that is without equal in the world.” 


PH launches re-election campaign for IMO Council


The Philippines in the IMO


The Republic of the Philippines presents its candidature for re-election to the Council of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) under Category C—states which have special interests in maritime transport or navigation, and whose election to the Council will ensure the representation of all major geographic areas of the world.

The Philippines, a member of the International Maritime Organization since 1964, has ratified and acceded to a number of IMO Conventions and its amendments, and has been an active member of the IMO Council since 1997.

The Philippines has:

  • ratified or acceded to twenty-two (22) IMO Conventions;
  • hosted scores of maritime conferences or seminars, the most recent of which are:

1. Women in Maritime (WIMA)-Asia Conference on “Promoting Women’s Advocacy for Domestic Ferry Safety,” 21-25 September 2015


2. National Workshop on the “2011 Guidelines for the Control and Management of Ship’s Biofouling to Minimize the Transfer of Invasive Aquatic Species,” 22-23 June 2015

3. Conference on the “Enhancement of Safety of Ships Carrying Passengers on Non-International Voyages,” 24 April 2015

4. National Consultation Meeting on the “Global Environment Facility-United Nations Development Programmed-International Maritime Organization (GEF-UNDP-IMO) Project on Removing the Capacity Barriers for Implementing Energy Efficiency Measures for International Shipping,” 17-18 July 2014

5. Regional Training Course on “Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement of the Ballast Water Management Convention in the ASEAN Region,” 16-18 October 2013

6. National Workshop on “The Steps Towards Ratification of the Ballast Water Management Convention with an Emphasis on the Legal Framework,” 14-15 October 2013

7. National Forum on “Safety of Domestic Ferries,” 09-11 September 2013

8. Regional Training Course for Auditors under the Voluntary IMO Member State Audit Scheme (VIMSAS)-Asia Region, 20-24 May 2013

  • attended and/or supported the IMO conferences or workshops in other countries in the region, such as the IMO Regional Seminar on ISPS Code Training and Maritime Security;
  • supported IMO projects:

1. GEF-UNDP-IMO Project on Removing the Capacity Barriers for Implementing Energy Measures for International Shipping

2. IMO-NORAD Cooperation Programme to assist East Asian countries in ratifying and implementing IMO instruments for the protection of the marine environment

  • hosted the IMO Regional Presence for Technical Cooperation in East Asia since 2003;
  • posted Maritime Attaché to the Philippine Embassy, London, UK;
    forged Memoranda of Understanding with 46 countries on Recognition of Certificates under Regulation I/10 and is now working on amending or updating the same;
  • been awarded certification by Bureau Veritas under ISO 9001 for the STCW Office of MARINA;
  • funded thirteen (13) students to attend the World Maritime University since 2014; and
  • graduated 133 individuals at the World Maritime University and 13 at the International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI).

An archipelagic country of more than 7,100 islands, the Philippines relies on maritime transport to connect its people and culture and to maintain linkages with its ASEAN neighbours and with the rest of the world. It has a merchant and fishing fleet of close to 20,000 ships, 53 government ports and over 200 private ports.


It has a growing shipbuilding sector with a capacity of close to a million GT and is the fourth largest shipbuilding nation. The Philippines has aligned the operations of its ports and shipping industry with internationally-recognized standards mandated by the IMO.


Philippine initiatives on Maritime Security and Marine Environment Protection


IMO-council_drillsThe Philippines has participated in regional cooperative agreements aimed at effectively carrying out the goals of the IMO, particularly in maritime security and marine environment protection. The Philippine government strongly supports the call of the IMO for urgent and greater anti-piracy coordination and cooperation procedures between and among states, regions, organizations, and industries.

In consistently advocating coordination between ship owners and Governments when attending to cases of ships that have been taken over by pirates, the Philippines provides continued support to families while seafarers are under the pirates’ control, including post-incident counselling or trauma management for seafarers and their families.

The Philippines has ratified the MARPOL Convention and four of its six Annexes and is an active participant in the ASEAN-OSRAP (ASEAN Oil Spill Response Action Plan), the Regional Programme for the Prevention and Management of Marine Pollution in the East Asian Seas, and the Sulawesi Sea Oil Spill Response Network.


Spotlight on the Filipino Seafarer


IMO-council_seafarersThe Philippines delivers the largest nationality of maritime crew serving the international merchant marine fleet. The Filipino seafarer’s skill and competence is trusted and highly valued.

The Filipino seafarers comprise close to a third of all seafarers onboard ships in the international trade. Also, Filipinos comprise the largest nationality of seafarers by rank (senior officers and junior officers) and by ratings, and across all departments (deck, engine, and catering) aboard merchant cargo vessels (bulk carriers, tankers, general cargo or container ships).

They are the seafarers of choice of international manning principals because they have recognized the outstanding qualities of the Filipino: technically competent, flexible, hard-working, reliable, trustworthy, fluent in the English language, and imbued with a deep sense of duty and loyalty. Dubbed the sailing ambassadors of the Philippines, its seafarers have demonstrated before the global maritime community the best traits of the Filipino.

In its effort to secure the quality and competence of its pool of seafarers, the Philippines is engaged in a comprehensive reform of its maritime education, training, and certification system.

Over seventy schools are eligible to offer officers programs for both deck and engine. The country also has over a hundred training centres with approved training programs compliant with the STCW Convention.

The Philippines’ deep understanding of the concerns and aspirations of seafarers enables it to play an important role in ensuring that their competencies and training remain relevant through the 2010 Manila Amendments to the STCW Convention and that their safety and welfare are protected through the 2006 Maritime Labour Convention.

With enhanced STCW implementation and a reservoir of qualified and competent maritime professionals, the Philippines will continue to man the world’s fleet and move the world’s commerce.


Leveraging its strengths—as the world’s number one source of maritime labour and the fourth largest shipbuilding nation—the Philippines seeks to become a prominent supplier of other shipping services and become one of the world’s go-to locations for shipping companies.



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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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