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Shipowners want suspension of advisory limiting cadets for shipboard training

Shipowners want suspension of advisory limiting cadets for shipboard training
Yashika F. Torib March 11, 2020

Domestic shipowners urged the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) to suspend a recent advisory it released that limits the number of cadets to be accommodated onboard ships for their shipboard training.

According to Philippine Interisland Shipping Association (PISA) Executive Director Pedro G. Aguilar the advisory was made and published by Marina even without a public consultation with the stakeholders.

Marina Advisory 2020-11 entitled “Maximum Number of Cadets to be Accommodated for On-Board Training” states that domestic ships must meet a minimum standard of on-board accommodation, adding that the total persons allowed on-board as reflected on its Ship Safety Certificate must not exceed with the acceptance of students/cadets.

The advisory also released a list of ships with their maximum number of cadets to be accepted for shipboard training.

PISA immediately appealed for the temporary suspension of the said advisory due to several loopholes, as mentioned by Aguilar in his letter to then Marina Administrator VAdm. Narciso Vingzon Jr.

Aguilar emphasized that by limiting the number of cadets on the ships even if it can accommodate more than the maximum number stated in the Marina advisory and without violating DoLE Department Order N0. 129 S.2013 (Maritime Labor Convention 2006 Regulation 3.1), exacerbates the minimal turn-over of cadet shipboard trainees in the country and the future availability of deck and engine officers in the domestic shipping industry.

An available data from the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) shows that total enrollees for academic year 2015-2016 for BS Marine Engineering stands at 96,103 students while those with BS Marine Transportation is at 128,420 students. These students are required to undergo a one-year shipboard training program before they can fully graduate.

The list provided on the Marina advisory can only accommodate 450 deck cadets and 576 engine cadets.

Missing names

Aguilar pointed out that the list of shipping companies and ships listed on the advisory missed several others. “Does it follow that those not listed cannot take in cadets for onboard training?” he asked.

Only two PISA members are on the list, namely Starlite Ferries, Inc. and Gothong Southern Shipping Lines, Inc. Other member-companies like the Archipelago Philippine Ferries, Corp. and Magsaysay Group of Shipping, which have existing cadet shipboard training agreements with maritime schools, are not included in the list.

“If the intent of the advisory is to exclude those not enumerated in the list, our members may be in violation of their agreements with the concerned maritime schools,” he said.

Aguilar appealed to Marina to temporarily suspend said advisory until a public consultation was held with ship owners and maritime school representatives.