The opening of the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) 6’s (Western Visayas) extension office here will greatly benefit Negrense seafarers as they no longer need to go to Manila to process their papers and take the Deck and Engine Officers’ Licensure Examination.
The four-story building, situated inside the Panaad Park in Barangay Mansilingan, was inaugurated on Friday in a ceremony led by Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. and Angkla partylist Rep. Jesulito Manalo.
MARINA-6 Director Rizal Victoria said the extension office in Bacolod will not only be used to process important papers but will be utilized as a training and a research center as well.
Manalo, who thanked the governor for providing an area for MARINA in the provincial government-owned property, said Angkla sees the Philippines as becoming a maritime nation through the cooperation of local government units.
Marañon, meanwhile, acknowledged Manalo for being instrumental in bringing to the provinces the government’s maritime services.
Both officials led the ribbon-cutting ceremony, unveiling of the marker, and blessing of the structure.
Negros Occidental’s provincial government has been providing scholarships for students who want to pursue a career in the maritime industry.
It has partnered with the Bacolod-based VMA Global College and Training Centers, Inc. for a “study now, pay later” scheme for licensed mechanical engineers who opted to shift to maritime engineering and study in the school for six months.
The first batch of the bridging program grantees completed their training in June.
MARINA, an agency under the Department of Transportation, is mandated by Executive Order No. 63 to be the single maritime agency that will be in charge of the implementation of the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping for Seafarers.
This aims to ensure the seamless administration of maritime education programs and promote coordination among agencies, such as the Commission on Higher Education, Department of Health, and Philippine Coast Guard. (PNA)