Participants of the NMP Stakeholders’ Forum on NMP 2018 Completed Researches on 28 March 2019 at The Bayleaf, Intramuros

True to its commitment of improving the welfare and development of the Filipino seafarers through the conduct of maritime researches, the National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP) conducted a Stakeholders’ Forum on 28 March 2019 at The Bayleaf Intramuros, Manila.

The activity was organized by NMP’s Maritime Research and Development Division (MRDD) aimed to disseminate its researches as well as provide a venue for discussion on results particularly those having policy implications, – three (3) researches were presented, namely:

Harbor Pilotage in the Philippines: A Review of Interventions in Licensing, Appointment and Capability Building of Harbor Pilots

The study aims to review the interventions that have been established by the government and other stakeholders in maintaining robust and effective pilotage services in the country.

Specifically, the objectives of the study are: 1) Examine the policy and regulatory framework on harbor pilotage in the Philippines, in general, and on licensing, appointment, and capability building, in particular. 2) Analyze implementation gaps of these policies and regulations. 3) Identify policy and program recommendations to enhance the harbor pilotage services in the Philippines.

Findings of the study will provide valuable inputs in the review and enhancement of policies and practices governing pilotage in the different pilotage districts in the country, particularly in the licensing, appointment and capability building of the country’s harbor pilots, and on other vital concerns raised by stakeholder-respondents. Improved and harmonized policies and regulations issued by regulatory bodies, which are complied by concerned stakeholders will lead to robust and efficient harbor pilotage services towards an efficient maritime transport system in the country.

Required Non-Technical (Soft Skills) by Employers for Shipboard Employment of Management Level Officers (MLOs)

The study seeks to examine the required training programs that are beyond the requirements of the Standards of Training Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW), as amended, focusing on the non-technical skills of MLOs that are assessed and required by the employers.

Specifically, the objectives of the study are: 1) Determine the non-technical skills of the management level deck and engine officers for their rank and position onboard vessels, as required by employers. 2) Determine the interventions implemented by employers to enhance the non-technical skills of the MLOs, 3) Determine the availability of the identified training programs for the non-technical skills requirements of MLOs.

Findings of the study will provide significant inputs in providing interventions that will equip the Filipino seafarers with value-added skills on top of the technical skills required under the 1978 STCW, as amended, to make them the ‘choice’ seafarers in the international maritime labor market.

Philippine Maritime Manpower Factbook 2018.

This is an initiative to gather and present in one comprehensive report data and statistics in the Philippine maritime industry to make these readily available and accessible to industry stakeholders.

Primarily, it aims to provide a picture of the Philippine maritime manpower sector, presented in graphs and figures that are derived from existing data from various source agencies, published reports and research findings. Other significant country data are provided to give a holistic snapshot of the Philippines as a maritime nation.

This research project will provide a valuable tool to industry stakeholders, affording them valuable data and statistics on the country’s profile as a maritime nation readily accessible for decision-making in policy and program development.

Findings of the researches were disseminated to the industry stakeholders from the government, maritime education and training (MET) institutions, maritime associations, seafarers’ organizations, shipping companies and manning agencies. Recommendations from the researches may serve as valuable inputs to policy making and program development that impact on the Filipino seafarers as a special workforce of the country.

In his welcome message, NMP Executive Director, Joel B. Maglunsod highlighted the significance of the activity.

“Sa mga nagdaang taon marami nang nagawang training programs ang NMP na resulta ng mga rekomendasyon ng mga natapos na researches. The researches were also used by the government administration and regulatory agencies in the formulation of policies, standards and also in the preparation of plans and programs, development of training programs na lahat ay para sa ikabubuti ng ating mga marino, at matulungan sila sa pagkumpleto sa mga requirements na hinahanap sa kanila para makasakay sa barko.” he said.

Nothing but good words and appreciation were uttered by Undersecretary for Employment, Migrant Workers Welfare, Financial and Administrative Services Cluster, Renato L. Ebarle during his inspirational message.

“I would like to commend the National Maritime Polytechnic for organizing this event annually and putting us all here together. Your support to the Agency means you support our country’s seafarers and our maritime industry”, said Usec. Ebarle.

He also emphasized the need to enhance the knowledge, skills and abilities of the Filipino seafarers to maintain their competitiveness and strengthen the country’s maritime community.

“We need to upgrade them in order to increase our market share in the officers’ category, especially the management level officers, and to maintain their status as “seafarer of choice”, he disclosed.

The forum also served as a venue for the Agency to present the NMP Research Agenda 2019-2021 containing proposed research topics based on the identified priority areas in line with the strategic directions of the Agency. NMP believes that the stakeholders should be involved in the development of the research agenda as well as in the implementation of researches through collaborative efforts to ensure responsiveness of the NMP’s research undertakings to the current and emerging needs of the maritime industry.

Moreover, a plaque of appreciation was given to the cooperating agencies who extended invaluable support in the conduct of NMP researches / studies in 2018 particularly the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), International Mariners Management Association of Japan and Philippine-Japan Manning Consultative Council Inc. (IMMAJ-PJMCC), Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), and Philippine Ports Authority (PPA).

The conduct of research is one of the mandates of NMP, in which research outputs are utilized to formulate policies and regulations for the improvement of the maritime manpower sector of the industry. NMP is also tasked to conduct researches on the latest maritime technology.

The forum was attended by thirty-six (36) participants. Out of the said number only twenty-five (25) were able to answer the post-forum evaluation form.

Based on the evaluation instrument gathered, 100% (25 out of 25) rated the research reports and conduct of forum satisfactory to excellent.

Aside from its research function, the NMP continues to upgrade its facilities and provide maritime trainings required pursuant to the Standards of Training, Certification, and Watch keeping for Seafarers (STCW) Convention as amended in 2010 including value-adding courses towards improving the qualifications of Filipino seafarers for their employment acceptability and enhanced competitiveness.

Those interested in NMP research undertakings may visit the NMP website (www.nmp.gov.ph) 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.

For more information about NMP trainings viewers may visit the agency’s facebook page (www.facebook.com/nmptrainingcenter) where all related information on NMP trainings are available.

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