TACLOBAN CITY – The National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP) joins in celebration of the 2020 World Maritime Week themed as “Sustainable Shipping For A Sustainable Planet” and the 2020 National Maritime Week with the theme “Working Together as One for Sustainable Maritime Philippines”.

As a kick-off activity for a week-long celebration, NMP collaborated with the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) RO 8 to drumbeat the Agency’s programs and projects in relation to the Maritime Week Celebration to be featured in the online press conference dubbed as “PANININDUGAN: A Virtual Kapihan” hosted by PIA last 18 September 2020.

“NMP, as the sole government maritime training and research center of the country consequently plays a crucial role in the enhancement of skills and competencies of Filipino seafarers as articulated in our mission. Being the government’s maritime training arm, NMP should therefore be able to lead in the country’s efforts of grooming the Filipino seafarers to become the choice seafarers in the highly competitive arena of seafarers in the whole world.”, NMP Executive Director Joel B. Maglunsod said in his message during the forum.

Different government agencies particularly the members of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)-Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) also shared their activities and projects during the virtual Kapihan particularly those concerning the Filipino seafarers. Also present were various media personnel and PIA managers from different areas of the region.

Accordingly, during the 3-day Maritime Industry Symposium on 23-25 September 2020 spearheaded by the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), NMP was invited as one of the Reactors during the 2nd day wherein NMP highlighted its mandate on the provision of maritime training towards transitioning to the “new normal” specifically making NMP training programs accessible to seafarers even during the health crisis.

NMP officials attending the 3-Day Maritime Industry Symposium

ED Jomag announced NMP’s innovations that aside from the implementation of NMP’s Post-ECQ Operational Plan that limits the number of trainees accommodated, the online courses on Prevention of Alcohol and Drug Abuse in the Maritime Sector (PADAMS) and STD/HIV/AIDS Prevention in the Maritime Sector (SHAPIMS) were launched last August 2020 while the Gender Sensitivity Training for Seafarers  (GSTS) online course will follow which aims to improve the accessibility of the training to client-seafarers including those on-board ships and at the same time promote Gender and Development advocacy on fairness and equity in the workplace among male and female seafarers.

The online Consolidated MARPOL 73/78 course and the blended Training Course for Instructors (IMO Model Course 6.09) and Assessment, Examination and Certification of Seafarers (IMO Model Course 3.12) are in the pipeline for their immediate offering.  Also, the development of the Vessel Crane Operator Course and the Freefall Enclosed Lifeboat Course in blended learning are for completion within the year.

Further, the review of two (2) non-mandatory courses titled Oily Water Separator and Updating Basic Training are ongoing for conversion to blended learning.

Relatively, the “Train Now Pay Later” Program was conceptualized to allow qualified cadets and graduates to undergo the required trainings subject to repayment after the first year of shipboard employment. This program will address the dilemma of many seafarers including the graduates from the Philippine Merchant Marine Academy who are unable to attend the required training courses due to the high cost of trainings and miscellaneous fees.

The implementation of the NMP-OWWA Seafarers’ Upgrading Program and Skills for Employment Scholarship Program have likewise assisted the seafarers in availing of financial assistance to cover the costs of training fees.

These innovations are geared towards providing our seafarers with the necessary competencies for their enhanced employability that are aligned to the priorities in mitigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and in transitioning to a “new and better normal”.

“The NMP remains open for collaborative undertakings that give priority to our seafarers and maritime-allied professionals such that we altogether empower them with the technical competence as they face the challenges in these trying times.”, ED Jomag stated in the Closing Program of the Maritime Week Celebration on 25 September 2020 hosted by the MARINA RO8.

Meanwhile, NMP continues to conduct face-to-face trainings with strict implementation of the Maritime Industry Authority’s (MARINA) approved Post-Enhanced Community Quarantine Operational Plan and other health and safety protocols as required by the Department of Health (DOH), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), and local government unit (LGU).

Likewise, interested seafarers for the online classes of SHAPIMS & PADAMS may register through this link: https://nmp.gov.ph/online-course-offerings/ .

Stakeholders who wish to validate the authenticity of their seafarers-employed with NMP issued certificates may visit www.verify.nmp.gov.ph.  Also, those interested in NMP research undertakings may visit the NMP website and access the e-Research Information System Portal which is designed to disseminate NMP completed researches, present the Research Agenda, and engage the industry stakeholders to collaborate in the research activities.

Further, NMP encourages OWWA registered seafarers to avail of the NMP-OWWA (Overseas Workers Welfare Administration) Seafarers’ Upgrading Program (SUP) and Skills for Employment Scholarship Program (SESP) which entitles the beneficiary to receive financial assistance for training costs from the OWWA.