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National Maritime Polytechnic clarifies P15M honoraria for lecturers

NMP clarifies P15M honoraria for lecturers
Yashika F. Torib September 8, 2021

"THREE years' worth of honoraria for guest lecturers conducting highly in-demand and special batches of Professional Development Courses (PDC) training."

This is where the P15 million, flagged by the Commission on Audit (CoA), went according to National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP).

An official statement released by NMP clarified that the amount was paid as honoraria to 23 guest lecturers from 2018 to 2020.

"Contributing significantly to the said amount was the payment of honoraria for the conduct of special batches due to the demands of our clients," Joel Maglunsod, Executive Director III of NMP, said about the maritime higher education institutions (MHEIs), maritime training institutions (MTIs), and other maritime organizations.

Maglunsod reported that the NMP was among three training providers in the country recognized by the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) to cater to the PDC needs of 90 MHEIs and 95 MTIs. The other two institutions are the Philippine Merchant Marine Academy (PMMA) and the Philippine Association of Maritime Training Center (PAMTCI).

"The [PDC] were mandatory requirements by MARINA for instructors and assessors of maritime programs," Maglunsod said.

The PDC includes IMO Model Course 6.09 (Training Course for Instructors); IMO Model Course 3.12 (Assessment, Examination, and Certification of Seafarers); and IMO Model Course 6.10 (Training Course for Simulator Instructors and Assessors).

It can be recalled last August that CoA flagged the more than P15 million honoraria of guest lecturers of Tacloban-based NMP, an attached agency of the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE).

The state auditors also cited NMP's failure to hire permanent training staff for the conduct of PDC training courses that resulted in higher maintenance expenses for the honorarium, meals, and transportation of the guest lecturers. It also recommended the creation of an independent body to evaluate the propriety of hiring guest lecturers.

"NMP maintains a pool of guest lecturers (GLs) where it can tap their services if needed. These GLs are invited based on their field of expertise and their availability as they also have other commitments in the company they are connected with," Maglunsod responded.

"NMP was able to generate an income of P 35,472,575.00 from the conduct of PDCs, of which 42.45% or P15,056,400.00 was paid to GLs. Rest assured that NMP will implement what had been recommended by COA and will tighten up measures based on the said findings," Maglunsod concluded.