A business collaboration between Japanese and Philippines has paved way for a maritime institution that presents sophisticated equipment and expert training for seafarers.
MOL-Magsaysay Maritime Academy (MMMA) was introduced on Wednesday as the nation responded to concerns raised in March by the European Commission regarding the standards of Filipino seafarers in European Union countries.
MOL stands for Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd., a Japanese firm that manages marine transportation, warehousing, and cargo handling. Meanwhile, Magsaysay Maritime Corp., a subsidiary of Magsaysay People Resources Corp., is a crew provider to the maritime industry in the Philippines, Indonesia, China, Nepal, Eastern Europe and in Central and North America.
Philippine government officials praised the venture, which, they said, indicated the Philippines’ yielding with international measures for maritime higher education.
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said he was “impressed” by the school housing a “ship on campus,” a student complex, academic buildings and dormitories on a 13.7-hectare property in this city.
Sen. Grace Poe, one of the inaugural guests, said MMMA was “probably the best school in Asia now” offering a bachelor’s degree in marine transportation and marine engineering.
Magsaysay Group president Doris Ho stated that the company and MOL, whose partnership spanned over two decades, had funded P2 billion to construct MMMA.
The ship on campus closely resembles an actual ship, with an engine room, electronic laboratory, distress and safety systems, and radar plotting capacities that “simulate the work environment of life at sea,” told Magsaysay People Resources Corp. president Marlon Roño.
The institution highlights the newest in Norwegian maritime technology.
With 380,000 to 400,000 seafarers stationed around the globe, Filipinos make up one of the “single, largest nationality block[s]” of seafarers, Poe said. Seafarers added P5.9 billion of the P28 billion total remittance of overseas Filipino workers last year, added Poe.
The Philippines is currently the second-largest supplier of maritime crew in the world, after China, according to Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) Administrator Rey Leonardo Guerrero.
In 2017, Guerrero said, about 25,000 students achieved the seafarers’ academic requirements, but only 5,000 got hired. “We don’t want to just be No. 1 [in workforce] but No. 1 in competencies [as well],” Guerrero said.
Tugade said the administration was trying to relieve the burden of seafarers by lowering the processing time of seaman’s books to one day from “weeks to months.”
Marina now offers coffee and biscuits to seafarers waiting in long lines as their seaman’s books are being processed, Tugade added.