MARINA devolves licensure exam for seafarers
Gregg M. Rubio (The Freeman) - November 12, 2017 - 4:00pm

CEBU, Philippines — Seafarers in the Visayas and Mindanao may no longer go to Manila to take the Deck and Engine Officers’ Licensure Examination as this is already administered by the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) in Cebu.

Marina has set up its examination center in Qimonda IT Center, North Reclamation Area in Cebu City last week.

Republic Act No. 10635 is an act establishing the Marina as the single maritime industry administration responsible for the implementation and enforcement of the 1978 International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) for seafarers.

The Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of RA 10635 is where Marina executives provided the transfer of the regulatory function for licensure examinations of marine officers.

MARINA STCW Executive Director Atty. Vera Joy Ban-eg said the law authored by Angkla Party-list Representative Jesulito Manalo also provides the bringing down to provinces the maritime services of the government.

“This is a history actually, pinaka-first ho ay ibinaba sa Cebu, ang Cebu ay pinili dahil alam ho natin malaki yung populasyon ng marino dito,” Ban-eg told reporters.

The assessment is being conducted by Marina STCW staff from Manila in the meantime.

Ban-eg is hoping that Marina-7 will be given more budget and staff in order to cater more seafarers in Cebu and some parts in the Visayas and Mindanao though they are also set to launch the same in Davao City and Iloilo City soon.

Marina-7 Director Jose Venancio Vero Jr. said they hire job order personnel to assist Manila staff in evaluating the documents of seafarers.

Capt. Emerico Gepilano, president of Cebu Reliable and Excellent Seafarers Training Center Inc. (Crest) and a member of Marina Advisory Council, said the devolution of the Marina central office to the regional offices is the result of the consultation of STCW to the different maritime sectors.

“Hundreds of seafarers here in the Visayas as well as from Mindanao would greatly benefit from this, as they do not need to be away from their families during their short vacation just to process and take their examination in Manila,” Gepilano said.

Gepilano also said the seafarers will be spared of the burden with the expenses that comes out when travelling to Manila and staying there for days.

He also assured Marina that the maritime stakeholders in the Visayas are there to help in whatever way they can.

In fact, a Visayas Maritime Stakeholders Association was already created which is composed of the different maritime shipping companies, training centers, review centers, assessment centers, maritime schools and other entities which have a stake in the maritime industry.

“We would like to assure Marina further that the maritime stakeholders here in the Visayas would be supporting you in your programs in ensuring the growth of the Philippine maritime industry,” he said.

Gepilano also urged all to join together and move forward as one for the betterment of the Filipino seafarers not just locally but also in the international maritime arena making Filipino seafarers truly world class and be more competitive in their maritime profession. —/FPL (FREEMAN)

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