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HomeUncategorizedMARINA: Proposal to remove 1 year On-Board Training in Maritime Education

MARINA: Proposal to remove 1 year On-Board Training in Maritime Education


By removing the one-year On-Board Training (OBT) from the BS Marine Transportation and BS Marine Transportation programs, the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) intends to make significant changes to Philippine maritime education and training.

With only seven months left on the job, Marina Administrator VAdm Robert Empedrad announced his intention to adopt a program similar to that of his alma mater, the Philippine Military Academy, which does not require an apprenticeship to complete a bachelor’s degree. Empedrad explained that he modeled the proposed changes in the BSMT AND BSMarE curriculum after the educational system of the nation’s military academy during an online show on Marino Filipino TV.

"(We) compared this to PMA. Pag graduate ng mga kadete, they become officers pero hindi nila alam kung Air Force, Navy or Army. Sa pag-distribute ng graduates ng PMA, for example, those going to the Navy, they will be trained for one year before totally maging Navy officers sila."He said they have to undergo the Naval Officers' Qualification Course for one year before they can board a Philippine Navy ship.

Under the said scheme, Emperad explained, “Like when BSMArE and BSMT graduates start their shipboard training (instead of during the course where most of them cannot be accommodated onboard ships and therefore cannot graduate after 4 years), the principal will see the difference of competent future seafarers because they will undergo more simulator training and practical exercises during their course. Marina can now focus on developing and building up the competence and progressive careers of the seafarers thru training to be offered by Maritime Training Institutions (MTI). We will focus on the MTIs rather than MHEIs where CHED is the final authority”.

The proposed enhanced curriculum standardization for BSMT and BSmarE programs, according to STCW Office Executive Director VAdm Rene Medina, will continue to be four-year courses, but instead of the current onboard training on the fourth year, students will stay in school for additional subjects, more laboratory activities, and practical training using simulators.

"We will make four straight years ang BS (degree) natin. In the fourth year, instead of the onboard training, whatever they do onboard ships, they can perform first on land. It will be more focused on more laboratory and simulator (training) and will add subjects needed to prepare the students for work after graduation."

Summing up the proposed curricular changes, Medina said, “Tatanggalin na po natin ang OBT at straight na four-year course na siya, and we will introduce more laboratory activities and simulator training.”

These include, Medina said: "Regime of island, territorial sea, contiguous zone, seafarers' responsibilities within that regime of island, freedom of navigation and right of innocent passage so our seafarers would be at par with other seafarers of other countries." 

Furthermore, the proposal will serve as a corrective action to deficiencies identified by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) in the implementation of the Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping (STCW) Convention, particularly in the area of structured shipboard training “This is one of our interventions,” the STCW Office Executive Director said adding that “hagip na rin po rito ang compliance natin sa EMSA para, at least, ang mga estudyante natin pagka-graduate po nila mas maalam na sila.”

The student can complete the BSMT and BSMarE programs and graduate under the proposed setup. They can begin the one-year OBT under Marina’s supervision after graduation. The maritime Administration will issue them a Certificate of Competency (COC) after they have completed the 12-month course.

The proposal has already been presented to the Technical Panel for Maritime Education (TPME), which is in charge of recommending any curricular changes to CHED en banc. Even though his term is coming to an end in a few months, Empedrad, who chairs the TPME, is optimistic that the proposal will be implemented soon.

"In the shift to new curriculum the first-year level (may start) next year, 2022-2023; the second year in 2023-2024, the third year in 2024-2025. So sa (academic year) 2025-2026, pwede na nating i-implement ito."
Marina eyes major reforms in maritime education, training|Manila Times

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