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No official report on closure of over 60 maritime schools: MARINA

No official report on closure of over 60 maritime schools: MARINA
Raymond Carl Dela Cruz February 21, 2020

MANILA — The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) on Friday said recent reports indicating the possible closure of two-thirds of the country’s maritime schools are not based on their official data.

“The information stated on those articles were not publicly pronounced, volunteered, nor were given to any media outlet,” MARINA said in a statement, referring to news stories released on February 14 and 17.

It said only the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) that can issue official pronouncements about maritime schools and that a report, based on joint inspections of maritime schools between the MARINA and CHED, was submitted to the latter for “appropriate action.”

“Although MARINA has the shared mandate with CHED to conduct inspections of maritime schools on matters relating to full compliance with the (Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping for Seafarers) Convention, it is but CHED which has the authority to take action on matters concerning maritime higher education, based on recommendations made by MARINA,” it said.

The agency also denied that its officials appeared in a hearing with the House of Representatives Committee on Transportation to discuss recommendations to CHED prior to the release of the two news reports.

“It is also untrue that MARINA officials were quizzed by legislators regarding inspections during the said non-existent HOR hearing as reported in the articles. In fact, it was only on February 19 that MARINA and CHED attended a hearing by Congress to discuss such matters,” MARINA said.

The misleading reports, according to MARINA's letter dated February 18 addressed to the Manila Times Publishing Company requesting for their removal, indicated that 61 out of the country’s 91 maritime schools were recommended for closure by MARINA

The reports were based on a statement released by the office of MARINO Party-list Rep. Sandro Gonzalez on February 13 which said that MARINA, in a meeting with the party-list, recommended the closure of several maritime schools for non-compliance with the standards set by the STCW Convention. (PNA)