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Tuesday, March 13, 2012
TWO of the country's largest associations of maritime schools and training centers have thrown their support to the intensified crackdown on erring maritime institutions by the Commission on Higher Education (Ched). In a joint manifesto, the Philippine Association of Maritime Training Centers Incorporated (PAMTCI) and the Philippine Association of Maritime Institutions (Pami) praised the commission's effort to upgrade the quality of learning offered by maritime schools, saying that "ensuring high quality education and training for personnel with emphasis on safety who man the world's foreign flag vessels becomes even more imperative." Signed by PAMTCI president Engineer Alfredo Haboc and his counterpart at Pami, Benito Chiongbian, the statement added that maintaining the country's competitive edge in the maritime industry needs a well-developed plan not only on how to educate prospective Filipino seafarers but also getting rid of those who refused to follow local and international regulations. "Toward this goal, we in the maritime industry, higher education institutions, training centers, and other non-government organizations of manning agencies, ship owners and other stakeholders who hone the skills of our Filipino seafarers and shape them to be the most competent and most in-demand sailors of the world's seas, take a stand to unite and extend our full support to the Commission on Higher Education on its thrust to quality maritime education and training," the statement said. At the same time, PAMTCI and Pami vowed to assist Ched in making maritime education providers compliant with the Convention on the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) to raise the standard of maritime schools in the country and make it at par with the rest of the world. This, they said, has gained added impetus following the decision of the European Maritime Safety...