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.” 


Usapang STCW Forum Goes to Laoag

The North Western University welcomes STCW Forum speakers, guests, and coordinator to host the Usapang STCW Forum in its Media Room where a mix of students numbering more than a hundred attends the awaited talks.

STCW Forum NWU Laoag | Apr 15, 2016

Atty. Herschel F. Magracia presents the historical and legislative background that led to the creation of a single maritime administration through the enactment of Republic Act 10635. He explains that through R.A. 10635, the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) is empowered by law to deal with all issues pertaining to the standards of training, certification, and watchkeeping for seafarers. Atty. Magracia also expounds that the MARINA, through R.A. 10635, assumes all powers and functions of the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Technical and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Department of Health (DOH) and the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), relative to the issuance, validation, verification, correction, revocation or cancellation of certificates of competency, endorsement or cancellation of certificates of competency, endorsement, proficiency and documentary evidence required of all seafarers and all such other matters pertaining to the implementation of the oversight in the implementation of the STCW Convention 1978, as amended.

Meanwhile, Atty. Jabeth Sena Jepath A. Dacanay provides updates on developments that MARINA undertakes to create accessible points for seafarers to process their documents. She also explains that the course and skills upgrades required by MARINA with CHED are part of the mandate set in the law to ensure compliance with International Conventions on the Manila Amendments and all international agreements implementing or applying the STCW Convention, and other international maritime safety conventions or agreements that the STCW Convention seeks to promote compliance with.

The Manila Amendments seeks for continuous upgrade of seafarers worldwide in both technical and management skills after five years in order to keep alongside technological progress in shipping and ship management. It is also the reason Atty. Dacanay directs the maritime students to seek for higher positions in seafaring upon skills updating.

STCW Forum NWU Laoag | Apr 15, 2016

“We want to see Filipino seafarers in command of great ships and key to this pursuit is our continued compliance with the STCW Convention. Our maritime education and training must not only prepare our cadets and cadettes to pass the standards, but to prepare them for the real life situations at seas. Learning then must aim at supporting our cadets/cadettes reach their full potentials in their chosen field, become experts and educators, able to transfer their knowledge and expertise to the future,” Atty. Dacanay says further.

STCW Forum NWU Laoag | Apr 15, 2016

From the STCW Office are Ms. Josephine O. Castillo, Officer-in-Charge of the Examination and Assessment Division and Mr. Herbert V. Nalupa, Officer-in-Charge of the Public Information Division.

The Usapang STCW Forum is a regular weekly forum with stakeholders that aims to clarify pressing issues on standards of training, certification, and watchkeeping for seafarers and a venue for the MARINA to present status of developments it undertakes.

Maritime transport working group meets for the last time

ASEAN MTWG | 06-08 Apr 2016

At 10 AM today, the ASEAN Maritime Transport Working Group meets for the last of a three-day stint to discuss, review and finalize plans and programs that will serve as part of a program schedule for the enhancement of trade and economic activities in the ASEAN region where maritime transport plays a major role.

Dr. Maximo Q. Mejia Jr, Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) Administrator and Chair of the working group takes pride in the accomplishments achieved in the meeting and expresses his gratitude and appreciation to the delegations for electing him to steer its course. He also commends and is grateful for the support of all allied and affiliated agencies throughout the duration of the event and formally concludes the meeting by 12 noon. He is ably assisted by ASEAN Secretariat Megasari Widyati and Philippine Secretariat Atty. Jean Ver Pia, Director of Overseas Shipping Service of the MARINA.

First of four maritime transport working group meetings, the Philippines as host shall, in an interval of six months, provide venue to the transport working group meetings while at the same time showcase tourist locations, homegrown crafts and delicacies, and the Filipino culture.

Social activities were added during the event “to forge new bonds, delight in the pleasure of each other’s company, and enjoy the island of Boracay, though briefly,” Dr. Mejia says in his closing remarks and invites the delegates to return anytime to enjoy the beauty the rest of the country promises.

The ASEAN MTWG is made possible through the support and assistance of the Department of Transportation and Communications, the Philippine Coast Guard, the Philippine National Police, the Philippine Ports Authority, the Department of Tourism, the Department of Health, and all their regional counterparts, the local secretariat composed of the full force of MARINA from both central and regional offices and local government units.




ASEAN-MTWG Special Issue Cover Photo

Varied blues. An early morning view of a typical day’s business from the shore of Boracay Island. Stores on shore begin setting up implements to attract more clients.

ASEAN-MTWG Frontpage lead

MARINA Administrator Dr. Maximo Q. Mejia Jr

Picking up from the requirements set during the 40th Senior Transport Officials Meeting (STOM), the 21st ASEAN Transport Ministers (ATM) Meeting, and other ASEAN coordinating bodies, follow through actions on some agenda items feature: (1) the establishment of single shipping market; (2) current arrangements for Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) on near coastal voyages limits; (3) implementation progress of the Master Plan and Feasibility Study on the Establishment of ASEAN RO-RO (roll-on-roll-off) Shipping Network and Short Sea Shipping; (4) enhancement of maritime safety for the establishment of efficient shipping routes; (5) support formulation and implementation of ASEAN Oil Spill Response Action Plan; (6) sustainable ports development; and (7) maritime transport agreement with India.

The ASEAN Maritime Transport Working Group (ASEAN-MTWG) elevates all the studies and findings already discussed to the Senior Transport Officials Meeting (STOM), which, when all issues have been satisfied, will then raise their conclusions to the ASEAN Transport Ministers (ATM) and other ASEAN coordinating bodies. The ASEAN-MTWG is the group tasked to conduct further study on findings that need in-depth planning, preparation, and analysis.

By the end of this conference, the body shall come up with a final report that will be considered and adopted for the Senior Transport Officials Meeting. The Philippines shall host three more Maritime Transport Group meetings within six months of interval, until 2017.

Dialogue partners include India, Japan, China and Republic of Korea. Other meetings that coordinate and come up with strategic plans, policies and best practice systems are the following:  ASEAN Port Association; Federation of ASEAN Shipowners Association; ASEAN-India Maritime Transport Cooperation; ASEAN-Japan Cruise Promotion Strategy; Philippine-Japan Meeting on the Implementation of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) in ASEAN ports; Representative from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) of Japan for the ASEAN-Japan Transport Partnership Work Plan 2015-2016; Port Technology Group Meeting with Japan; Representatives from Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT) of the Republic of Korea; Bilateral meeting with Indonesia on ASEAN RO-RO route; Development Study for Inland Improvement with Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Viet Nam (CLMV) and Thailand; dialogue partners to further improve linkage among countries in the Mekong region; ASEAN-Japan Port Security Expert Meeting; ASEAN-China Maritime Consultation Meeting; Global Task Force and Project Inception Meeting; the ASEAN Secretariat; country coordinators of the ASEAN Economic Community; Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ); International Maritime Organization (IMO); and the IMO-Global Initiative for South East Asia.

Main Items on the ASEAN-MTWG Agenda

ASEAN-MTWG Official Logos THE OFFICIAL logos used for the 31st ASEAN-MTWG are the ASEAN logo (used with permission from the ASEAN secretariat) with the event name, venue and date.

Meanwhile, Maritime Industry Authority Administrator Dr. Maximo Q. Mejia Jr directed the creation of the Philippine logo that will also be used to brand the event with local colors. The logo features a compass rose depicting the forward direction the maritime transport industry in the Philippines is taking; a vinta (local sailboat found in the southern part of the country), and a swash of wave the vinta rides on. Maritime Philippines is the theme portrayed and “We Move the World,” its tagline, is a statement that captures the essence of the strong seafaring industry.


STCW Dialogue in Cebu presents clear message to stakeholders

Cebu STCW Dialogue | 31 March 2016THE MARITIME Industry Authority (MARINA) will implement full compliance with STCW standards set in the Manila Amendments by January 1, 2017 — a clear message sent out during a dialogue dubbed “Usapang STCW (Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers) Forum” in Cebu to maritime stakeholders: shipping and manning agencies; maritime higher education institutions (MHEIs); maritime training institutions (MTIs); maritime assessment centers (MACs); maritime training centers (MTCs); maritime students and seafarers.

“Seafarers must not slack over their updating or refresher courses; they need to take it immediately in order to abide by the requirements set by the Convention in the Manila Amendments, as it is an international standard put in place by the International Maritime Organization in 2010,” stresses Atty. Jabeth Sena Jepath A. Dacanay, Deputy Executive Director of the MARINA STCW Office, and one of the panelists in the dialogue. She likewise enjoins the support of both manning and shipping agencies to require their seafarers to undergo the needed refresher or updating courses before the deadline.

Cebu STCW Dialogue | 31 March 2016

“Flocking to the MARINA offices on the eleventh hour will be a major remiss on your part as MARINA might not be able to accommodate the influx, should that scenario take place,” Atty. Dacanay says further.

“As with the maritime colleges and training centers, the courses they provide must also be compliant with the requirements of the Convention to assure foreign principals that our seafarers are aligned with the skills and proficiency preconditions the international maritime shipping industry demands,” Atty. Dacanay explains.

Cebu STCW Dialogue | 31 March 2016

The dialogue kicks off with a presentation by Atty. Herschel F. Magracia of the historical background that marked the urgent need for a single maritime administration accountable for the standards of training, certification, and watchkeeping duties of seafarers, including, together with CHED (Commission on Higher Education), the monitoring and assessment of maritime higher education institutions, training centers and institutions, assessment centers and their trainers. Atty. Magracia is Director of the MARINA Enforcement Service and Officer-in-Charge of the MARINA STCW Office Legal Division.

Usapang STCW is a regular weekly dialogue, every Thursday, between the STCW Office and stakeholders in venues held nationwide. It is a forum where questions are answered and other updates and relevant information are shared.

The “Usapang STCW Forum” was held at the Convention Hall of the Sacred Heart Center in Cebu City, March 31, 2016, 9:30 AM.


Open registry for ships is a viable option — Atty. Pia

On Philippine Ship RegistryThe MARINA lawyers group convened to set in place a congressional agenda regarding concerns on the Philippine ship registry. Presiding over the group, Atty. Gloria Victoria-Bañas tasked all lawyers to actively participate in the said undertaking so as to provide strength and support to a drafted bill on the Maritime Code. Atty. Victoria-Bañas also stressed the need to focus on promoting the flag and to present a more attractive registry to diffuse the alarming rate of ships flagging out.

The MARINA, in undertaking measures to address the declining rate of ship registry, has recently amended MARINA Memorandum Circular No. 182 or the “Rules in the Acquisition of Ships under Presidential Decree 760, as amended, and providing herewith the Implementing Rules under Chapter XV of the 1997 Philippine Merchant Marine Rules and Regulations (PMMRR) on Registration, Documentation, Licensing of Ships for International Voyages” by providing simplified requirements and rules rationalized for ships registered under the Philippine flag.

MARINA Lawyers on the Philippine Ship Registry

According to the latest data of MARINA, the Philippine Ship Registry continuously declines. Since 1988, the Philippine ship registry has dropped to present level of 25% to 117 of what used to be 467.

Theory and practice expert and resource speaker Professor Proshanto K. Mukherjee was invited last February to a Seminar and Workshop on International Ship Registries to discuss the different kinds of ship registration system and the legal and practical implications of each.

Taking breadth from said seminar and workshop, the lawyers group take the lead in reviewing maritime laws and ship registries. The Overseas Shipping Service, meanwhile, will act as support group. This initial MARINA all-lawyers meet took place on March 22 at the MARINA Boardroom.

MARINA Lawyers on the Philippine Ship Registry


MARINA technical personnel attend intensive design, construction training


“We are primarily a sea-going people; we move a lot and do business using inter-island transport systems, even during our ancestors’ days,” Shipyards Regulation Service (SRS) Director Engr. Ramon C. Hernandez said.

“As part of MARINA’s thrust of promoting a culture of safety at sea, we have conducted studies on the level of safety traditional wooden-hulled vessels provide. The result prompted us to look for alternative and better materials and systems that will prevent accidents during sea transport,” Engr. Hernandez explained.

The study focused on safety levels of wooden-hulled vessels resulted to a gradual phase out of vessels still using wood as its hull, and is part of the mandatory Vessel Retirement Program in the revised implementing rules and regulations of Republic Act 9295, “An Act promoting the development of Philippine domestic shipping, shipbuilding, and ship repair and ship breaking, ordaining reforms in government policies towards shipping in the Philippines, and for other purposes,“ Rule IX, Section 23 – Retirement of Old Vessels.

“Although the materials for alternative hulls like fiberglass are a bit costlier than wood, the safety of FRP boats far outweigh the cost,” Engr. Hernandez added.

Training on the Design & Construction of Boats Using Fiberglass-Reinforced Plastic, March 16 to 18, 2016.

The use of alternative materials for boat design and construction with proven higher safety levels is advantageous to both ship owner or operator and the public that relies on sea transport to get on with their businesses.

The training was formally opened with an invocation from Engr. Maria Teresa D. Mamisao from MARINA-SRS. Engr. Hernandez gave his welcome message and introduced the lecturers. Meanwhile, Atty. Gloria Victoria-Bañas imparted inspiration and appreciation to attendees and partners who made the event possible.

Presented during the training were different kinds of fiberglass materials, the processes on boat-building using fiberglass materials, scantling calculations of FRP boats, assembly of hull and deck, installation of outboard engine and accessories, and how to repair FRP boats. Workshop activities on actual FRP boat-building provided hands-on experience for the MARINA technical personnel. The three-day intensive training took place at the ALS Marine Boat Factory in Brgy. Calibuyo, Tanza, Cavite. The event was a partnership effort of MARINA with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) through Mr. Tomoyuki Fukuhara, its expert on Maritime Safety Policy and Maritime Industry Modernization; the ALS Marine Center Corp; and the Yamaha Motor Co. Ltd.

Photos during the training are shown below.

Training on the Design & Construction of Boats Using Fiberglass-Reinforced Plastic, March 16 to 18, 2016.

Training on the Design & Construction of Boats Using Fiberglass-Reinforced Plastic, March 16 to 18, 2016.

Training on the Design & Construction of Boats Using Fiberglass-Reinforced Plastic, March 16 to 18, 2016.

Training on the Design & Construction of Boats Using Fiberglass-Reinforced Plastic, March 16 to 18, 2016.

Training on the Design & Construction of Boats Using Fiberglass-Reinforced Plastic, March 16 to 18, 2016.

Training on the Design & Construction of Boats Using Fiberglass-Reinforced Plastic, March 16 to 18, 2016.

Training on the Design & Construction of Boats Using Fiberglass-Reinforced Plastic, March 16 to 18, 2016.

Training on the Design & Construction of Boats Using Fiberglass-Reinforced Plastic, March 16 to 18, 2016.

Training on the Design & Construction of Boats Using Fiberglass-Reinforced Plastic, March 16 to 18, 2016.

Training on the Design & Construction of Boats Using Fiberglass-Reinforced Plastic, March 16 to 18, 2016.

Training on the Design & Construction of Boats Using Fiberglass-Reinforced Plastic, March 16 to 18, 2016.

Training on the Design & Construction of Boats Using Fiberglass-Reinforced Plastic, March 16 to 18, 2016.

Training on the Design & Construction of Boats Using Fiberglass-Reinforced Plastic, March 16 to 18, 2016.

Training on the Design & Construction of Boats Using Fiberglass-Reinforced Plastic, March 16 to 18, 2016.

Training on the Design & Construction of Boats Using Fiberglass-Reinforced Plastic, March 16 to 18, 2016.

Training on the Design & Construction of Boats Using Fiberglass-Reinforced Plastic, March 16 to 18, 2016.