MANILA - A maritime academy in Cavite was unveiled on Wednesday in time for a European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) audit due next month.
The unveiling of MOL-Magsaysay Maritime Academy comes as billions of dollars in annual remittances are on the line if the Philippines fails to comply with the accreditation standards set by the European Union.
The school, inaugurated by Magsaysay Maritime Corporation and Japanese transport company Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, seeks to improve the standing of Filipino seafarers in the global workforce. The academy will offer Bachelor of Science in Marine Transportation (BSMT) and Bachelor of Science in Marine Engineering (BSMarE) degrees in its sprawling Dasmariñas campus.
It is situated in a 13.7-hectare property, which houses a "ship in campus" where a life-sized engine of a vessel will allow students to learn better.
Tuition in the academy is around P90,000 to P100,000 per semester and they offer a study-now-pay-later program for qualified applicants.
Graduates are guaranteed employment after finishing their 4-year courses. Half of the batch would be employed by MOL and another by Magsaysay Corp, said Head of Marine Engineering, Michael Delos Reyes.
Doris Magsaysay-Ho, president and CEO of Magsaysay Maritime Corporation said it was time to "comply with or exceed the standards of education demanded by the global industry and port state authorities."
The Lisbon-based agency in March last year said the Philippines has yet to comply with several aspects of its audit, including international standards in quality management and quality in maritime school training.
The Philippines has submitted its compliance report to the EMSA, but the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) admitted that the country's possible failure in the audit would bear heavily on new seafarers.
According to Marina data, only 5,000 of the 25,000 graduates of maritime courses were able to land jobs because not all schools offered a one-year on-the-job training since they did not have shipping company partners.
- with reports from Jacque Manabat and Zen Hernandez, ABS-CBN News