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New Bachelor of Science in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering program to usher more jobs opportunities

New BSNAME program to usher more jobs opportunities
November 24, 2021

The new, streamlined, ladderized, and more flexible Bachelor of Science in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering (BSNAME) program is expected to benefit more youth and attract them to pursue careers in the country's booming shipbuilding and ship repair industry.

Engr. Sammuel Lim, chairman of the professional association of naval architects, Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SONAME), presented the key changes in the BSNAME program during the public orientation on the Revised Policies, Standards, and Guidelines (PSG) on the new program conducted by the Commission on Higher Education last November 19.

It has been ladderized. Compared to the 2015 BSNAME program, the new program can be taken in two ways: either through a straight or ladderized program, which provides students opportunities to work immediately after completing the first two years of the program.

"A ladderized BSNAME program creates a platform where students may opt to exit and work with the opportunity to come back and move to the next year level," Engr. Lim explained.

Under such a program, students can already secure a National Certificate I (NC I) for Mechanical Drafting from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) after completing the first year of the new BSNAME program. They can be employed as ship draftsmen.

Or they can finish the second year and be issued a higher certificate, NC III for Computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) Operator, by TESDA and apply for CAD/CAM operator in local shipyards or abroad.

After completing the second year, they can already get the Diploma in Ship Drafting Technology, qualifying them to work as ship draftsman, CAD/CAM operator, boatbuilder/estimator, and machine shop assistant in shipyards here and abroad. Or study for another two years to finish the new BSNAME program which reduced the 2015 five-year degree to only four years following the introduction of the K to 12 programs. The number of units was reduced from 215 to 197 units as well as slashed significantly the on-the-job training (OJT) period from 540 hours to 320 hours.

Once they completed the new program, the SONAME chairman said, more career opportunities would be opened to the graduates.

Aside from naval architects, they are qualified to be employed as a ship designer, ship and leisure craft builder, shipyard manager, classification and marine surveyor, ship manager, offshore and designer and builder, educator, marine adjuster and assessor, salvage operator, and marine consultancy among others maritime-related jobs.

Moreover, Engr. Lim stressed: "It's now compliant with the Washington Accord for APEC Engineers." The Washington Accord is a multilateral agreement between bodies responsible for the accreditation of engineering degree programs within their jurisdictions who have chosen to work collectively to assist the mobility of professional engineers.

Hence, graduates of the new program are qualified to practice their profession abroad as naval architects without further studies as long as they passed the licensure examinations administered by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC).

Currently, there are only a handful of higher education institutions (HEIs) offering the BSNAME program: NAMEI Polytechnic, University of Cebu, University of Perpetual Help System, Mariners' Polytechnic Colleges Foundation, and Asian Institute for Maritime Studies which recently experienced an increase in enrollment. And with the BSNAME program which makes it easier to pursue naval architecture, enrollment is expected to increase further due to the strong demand for skilled workers in the shipbuilding and ship repair (SBSR) industry, here and abroad.

The SBSR sector was experiencing robust growth in recent years but was disrupted only by the COVID-19 pandemic. The growth of the industry was triggered mainly by the recent decision of the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) to phase out finally wooden-hulled ships in major shipping routes.

Equally a major factor was the maritime Administration's policy of modernization of domestic shipping that compelled local shipowners to upgrade their fleet by acquiring brand new ships from local shipyards or abroad.Former PCG Commandant George Ursabia is new DOTr Undersecretary for Maritime

President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed retired Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Commandant, CG Admiral George V. Ursabia Jr. as Undersecretary for Maritime of the Department of Transportation (DOTr).

Ursabia's appointment was issued by the President on November 4, 2021.

Ursabia, who was born in Polomolok, South Cotabato, retired from his post at the PCG on 08 September 2021. Ursabia spent 38 years in government service.

While in command, Ursabia managed to boost the presence of the PCG in the West Philippine Sea and the southernmost part of the country through the Task Force Pagsasanay.

Under his command, the PCG also enhanced its recruitment process and made sure that all regions in the country are given a rational quota to ensure inclusivity.

Ursabia, during his term as PCG commandant, also improved the agency's procurement system to be compliant with Republic Act 9187 or the Procurement Law.

In addition, the PCG's systems and doctrines also underwent fine-tuning under his watch to make sure that its personnel can effectively deliver needed public service in a timely and cost-efficient manner.

"Our Coast Guardians go beyond the call of duty by providing a people-first approach in these trying times – and they continue to do so. We see them in the frontlines – in checkpoints, seaports, airports, and areas where there are needs to be met – aiding citizens with humility and compassion," CG Admiral Ursabia said in his retirement speech.

As a humanitarian agency, the PCG under Ursabia's command also helped deliver aid to the country's far-flung areas, including Calayan Island, Pag-asa Island, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi amid the COVID-19 pandemic,

"Being a relatively young humanitarian government agency, there is still a lot to be done. The PCG will still face a lot of challenges and reforms, but I hope it will be for the better," Ursabia added in his retirement speech.

Transportation Secretary Art Tugade meanwhile said Ursabia's wealth of knowledge and vast experience in the maritime sector will prove most valuable as he takes on new tasks as an undersecretary of the department.

"I am confident that the skills and experience in the maritime sector of my good friend, Usec. Ursabia which were honed, and tested as a long-time commandant of the Philippine Coast Guard will prove most valuable to the DOTr," said Secretary Tugade.

"There is no doubt that Usec. Ursabia can steer the maritime sector to great lengths given his character, leadership style, and experience," the Secretary added.