MARINA Administrator Speaks at PNBC Luncheon

The regular networking luncheon organized by PNBC for its members and industry partners has reached a new peak with a record-breaking 73 participants coming to the latest event held on September 26, 2013 at the Ristorante Carpaccio in Yakal Street, Makati City.

As resource speaker for the event, PNBC invited Honorable Dr. Maximo Q. Mejia Jr., Administrator of Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), who presented updates on the how the government agency has been working towards addressing the issues and concerns raised by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) on the quality of education and training received by Filipino seafarers, and its compliance to the STCW Regulation. It may be recalled that earlier this year, EMSA raised a number of non-compliances that threaten the future of thousands of Filipino seafarers onboard European ships.

“Our objective is to give the Filipino seafarer a suit of armour that is unassailable.” Dr. Mejia Jr. said, referring to MARINA’s efforts to ensure that the education and competence certificates held by Filipino seafarers will measure up to international standards.

A good number of questions were raised by those from the maritime companies, among others, on the apparent need for MARINA to likewise coordinate with other agencies like POEA and TESDA.

PNBC President Ivar Thomasli gave a wrap-up of the discussions, highlighting that while there are still some pending questions, very important clarifications were offered by Dr. Mejia Jr., who also warmly welcomed several suggestions made by the various companies.

Finally, Norwegian Ambassador H.E. Knut Solem gave the closing remarks, and echoed the anticipation felt by everyone in the room in regard of whether the improvements done by MARINA in the last six months will be enough. EU is sending another audit team to the Philippines to make a follow up assessment in October.