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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Issue 3

PHL hosts International Maritime Org confab
‘Safety of Ships Carrying Passengers on Non-International Voyages,’ set Apr 24th



Department of Transportation and Communication Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya expresses his appreciation to all MARINA employees for their hard work and for making the maritime industry in the global position it is now, including the Filipino seafarers who have contributed great to the world’s demand for personnel. He also conveys his congratulatory statement to MARINA Administrator Dr. Maximo Q. Mejia Jr for paving “the way toward the continuous development of the country’s maritime industry and in enabling the Philippines to maintain its global maritime status.”

Meanwhile, MARINA Administrator Dr. Maximo Q. Mejia Jr, expresses his appreciation to the IMO:
“The Philippines acknowledges the strong position taken by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in offering this technical assistance to capacitate “commonly situated Member States” to look into the various issues and concerns attendant to vessel seaworthiness, the need to insure crew competence, and the provision of essential aids-to-navigation.”

The one-day conference will cover in-depth analysis on safety, identification of hazards through formal safety assessment tools, a look on the ASEAN-Japan transport project for improvement and harmonisation of safety standards and ship inspection for coastal ships and guidelines for setting the navigation areas in ASEAN countries. Confab sessions shall also deal with guidelines of the development of safety regulation for domestic passenger ships based on the Japanese experience, and on moving towards a safety culture in domestic ferry safety in the Pacific region.

Also, presentations of guidelines relating to the purchase of second-hand ships, ships subject to a change of route or area of operation, and ships subject to conversion or modification, and guidelines relating to the counting of number of persons on board, voyage planning and enforcement activities undertaken by administrations will be discussed, including the guidelines on the safe operation of coastal and inter-island passenger ships not engaged in international voyages.

All the discussions will be considered and adopted to an outcome document that will aid in the formulation or enhancement of safety standards of ships carrying passengers in non-international voyages.

Guest speakers are a mix of maritime experts, specialists, and consultants worldwide. Delegates from IMO member nations are expected to arrive Thursday, April 23.


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Issue 2

MARINA follows stringent inspection standard as part of ‘Ligtas Biyaheng Dagat’ campaign

Inspection_Enforcement Services Division
Officer-in-charge of Enforcement Services Division Atty. Herschel F. Magracia, center, counter-checks the required numbers and expiration dates of buoyant smoke signal on board a cargo-passenger ship headed for Iloilo this Maundy Thursday, April 2. He is flanked by two members of his team members, Dexter de Leon on left, and Laurence Gahol on the right.

On board a ship for inspection this Maundy Thursday, April 2, its OIC Atty. Herschel F. Magracia stressed that safety and security inspections are not just a seasonal engagement done by his teams, but a continuous effort to effect the promotion and observance of proper safety culture on board ships, passenger vessels, and other motorized boats operating in domestic trade.

“We are mandated to enforce the full observance of safety, security, and efficiency of equipment on board vessels to avoid maritime accidents,” Magracia added.

MARINA is constrained to appropriately act on identified violations and penalize erring units as discussed on previous consultative dialogues with stakeholders in the country’s nautical highways. These dialogues took place in coordination with MARINA’s regional directors and officers-in-charge and representatives from the Philippine Coast Guard.

MARINA Administratior Dr. Maximo Q. Mejia Jr provided the instructions to promote and observe proper safety culture on board maritime vessels including corresponding penalities for violations, which were covered in these consultative meetings that convened stakeholders in Batangas, Palawan, Boracay, Cebu City, Dumaguete City, Tacloban City, Davao, Iloilo, Cagayan de Oro and General Santos City.


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News Updates

Brace up for super typhoon Chedeng

PAGASA Super typhoon ‘Maysak’, locally called Chedeng, was detected by PAGASA from its initial position just outside of the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) by Apr 1. The weather administration forecasts that by the succeeding days until April 5, Chedeng will continue moving towards north-northwest of the country, covering the northern island group of Luzon. Everyone is enjoined to monitor weather news developments, preparation and rescue efforts in areas the storm will cover.

As of 10 a.m., Apr 2, the center of the storm was at 995 km east of Catarman, Northern Samar or 915 km east northeast of Borongan, Eastern Samar with map coordinates of 12.4 degrees north, 133.8 degrees east. As of this finding, the super typhoon has maximum sustained winds of 175 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 210 kph and is expected to move west northwest at 19 kph.

PAGASA also provides forecast positions for super tyhpoon Chedeng:

For the next 24 hours
740 km east of Daet, Camarines Norte, Friday morning

For the next 48 hours
595 east of Virac, Catanduanes, Saturday morning

For the next 72 hours
130 km northeast of Baguio City, Sunday morning

The estimated rainfall amount is from moderate to heavy within the 150-200 km radius and within the next 12 hours, PAGASA will raise public storm warning signal number one over Bicol and the Samar provinces. Sea travel over these areas will be dangerous. Chedeng is estimated to make landfall over the eastern coast of Aurora or Isabela in the late hours of April 4 (Saturday) or early the next day. The public is warned of possible flashfloods on low-lying areas and landslides on moutain slopes, particularly over Aurora-Isabela area. Surface waves and storm surges of up to 4 meters high is a possible threat over the eastern coast of Samar, Bicol and Aurora, Quezon. The public is therefore advised to take appropriate actions to prepare for medical, food and drinking supply and to stay safe until the storm is over.

The next bulletin from PAGASA is at 11 pm tonight.


Mejia present during PNoy round of Batangas seaport

MARINA Administrator Maximo Q. Mejia Jr. is certain that the Batangas Port Passenger Terminal is in good shape and that sea passenger vessels are sea-worthy and safe; yet despite that, he departs for Batangas early today to be present as President Benigno S. Aquino III makes rounds to seaport, airport, and bus terminals to ensure that Filipinos travel to their hometowns for the Semana Santa or Holy Week safe and sound through the Oplan Ligtas Biyahe project of the Department of Transportation and Communications.

Although PAGASA just earlier reported of a looming super typhoon that just entered the Philippine area of responsibility, maritime travel safety is in place, especially for the rise in volume of maritime passengers this season.