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PAMI opposes move to limit number of cadets on domestic ships

PAMI opposes move to limit number of cadets on domestic ships
March 17, 2021

IT would be the end of the line for many maritime schools in the country should the proposed corrective actions presented during the national workshop by the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) be implemented next school year, Sabino Czar Manglicmot 2nd, president of the Philippine Association of Maritime Institutions (PAMI), warned.

Manglicmot said that many maritime schools would likely cease operations if the government will restrict the number of cadets who will undergo onboard training (OBT) on domestic ships.

He expressed his concern after the group assigned to tackle OBT presented its proposed corrective actions on one of the shortcomings identified in the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) report during the second day of the virtual workshop held last March 11-12.

Marina staged the event to solicit the technical expertise of people in the industry especially from maritime training institutions and maritime higher education institutions (MHEIs) in addressing the EMSA issues. In its report, EMSA identified 13 shortcomings and three observations during its last year’s inspection.

It was disclosed on the workshop’s first day that EMSA noted significant numbers of cadets on ships. “The team found cases in which 11, 16 or even 37 deck cadets were on board those ships, on which there were only two deck officers and the master,” the EMSA Report said.

This practice of having more than 10 cadets undergoing OBT on a ship in the inter-island trade has become common in recent years as the sector’s answer to severe lack of berths for students who have completed their academic requirements and, thus, are eligible to proceed to shipboard training.

The EMSA report, however, said that MHEIs had failed to ensure that students completing their seagoing service on ships serving in domestic trade “were given sufficient opportunity to complete their watchkeeping duties and their on-board training closely supervised and monitored by a qualified officer, as required by the STCW Code.”

To rectify this, the group proposed a “review and revision of Marina Advisory 2020-11 in the categorization of ships registered as regards the number of cadets to be accommodated on domestic ships as stipulated in the MA 2020-11 in the conduct of structured training in the training ship consistent to MLC (Maritime Labor Convention) 2006”.

The proposal, in all likelihood, would reduce the number of cadets that domestic ships could accommodate for OBT. In response, Manglicmot categorically said he would “object” to such a move.

“I heard there was a recommendation for limiting the berths for a cadetship. I would object to it. We would like to have it increased. There should always be a partnership between private maritime education and the shipping companies to also include the government,” he emphasized.

“I know this is very hard; OBT is a challenge for MHEIs. Maybe an increase in accommodation in domestic ships for training is ideal,” he countered.

Also president of a maritime school in Nueva Ecija, Midway Maritime Foundation, Manglicmot appealed to MARINO Party List Representative Macnell Lusotan and broached the idea that Congress could provide the answer to the MHEIs’ dilemma.

“May be the MARINO Partylist could introduce some sort of economic benefit to domestic shipping companies that would accommodate cadets.

“We need to compete with our neighbors in manpower. One way that we could compete with them is to send out more cadets, more officers. This is the way we should go,” Manglicmot pointed out.