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Marina deactivates TWG on seafarer vaccination program

Marina deactivates TWG on seafarer vaccination program
Yashika F. Torib April 20, 2022

THE Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) officially deactivated its Technical Working Group (TWG) for the vaccination of Filipino seafarers onTuesday, April 12 through the signing of the Declaration of Project Completion.

Marina's TWG on Vaccination was established to implement the inoculation of seafarers, frontline maritime workers, and their families at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2021.

It was spearheaded by the Deputy Executive Director of the Standards of Training Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) Office, Capt. Jeffrey Solon, in coordination with partner agencies, maritime stakeholders and associations.

"The TWG was the backbone of this project, it was them who truly worked on it. No words can be found to express our gratitude to them," Marina Administrator Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad said during the ceremony entitled "Ang Pagpupugay at Pasasalamat: Recognition Rites and Deactivation Ceremony of the Technical Working Group on the Vaccination Program."

Empedrad conveyed his appreciation to Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade and other agencies in the maritime sector for their support in pushing for the vaccination of seafarers.

Plaques of appreciation were given to Rep. Camille Lydia Villar-Genuino, Sen. Cynthia Villar, the Department of Health (DoH), Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ), Las Piñas General Hospital and Satellite Trauma Center, Associated Marine Officers and Seamen's Union of the Philippines (Amosup) and its affiliated offices in Iloilo and Davao, including the AMOSUP Seamen's Hospital Cebu-Vaccination Team, ALMA Maritime Group Corporation, Philippine-Japan Manning Consultative Council, Inc. (PJMCC), Filipino Association for Mariners Employment Inc. (FAME), the team of Divina Zuniga, Philippine Association of Manning Agencies and Ship Managers (PAMAS), Filipino Shipowners Association (FSA) and International Maritime Association of the Philippines (Intermap) for their remarkable leadership, commitment and unwavering support leading to the success of the Vaccination Program for OFWs (Sea-based and Land-based), Families and Ancillary Service Personnel.

Certificates of commendation were also awarded to several maritime stakeholders and partner agencies as well as to the Marina personnel who were involved in the vaccination efforts.

Empedrad also conveyed his admiration to all the Filipino seafarers who have remained resilient and have continued to keep the global economy running afloat despite the uncertainties and challenges concerning port access, lockdowns, crew changeovers, and repatriation.

"They (seafarers) continue at sea to make sure na makakarating ang mga pangangailangan natin. Without them, probably, we have more casualties than we have ever imagined during the pandemic," Empedrad said.

He assured the seafaring community that the Marina is geared up to revive the Team when the situation calls for it.