Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr cites need to keep Philippines ‘an asset’ in global maritime industry

2023 July 20

PMMA GRADUATION. President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. (3rd from left) leads the 200th commencement exercises of the Philippine Merchant Marine Academy (PMMA) “Madasiklan” Class of 2023 at the Grandstand of the PMMA Complex in San Narciso, Zambales on Thursday (July 20, 2023). The “Madasiklan” Class of 2023, which stands for “MAgiting na may DAngal at SImbolo ng Kawal ng karagatAN,” is composed of 224 graduating midshipmen, with 97 from the Bachelor of Science in Marine Transportation (BSMT) and 127 from the Bachelor of Science in Marine Engineering (BSMarE)

MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Thursday urged the new graduates of the Philippine Merchant Marine Academy (PMMA) to help his administration retain the Philippines’ good standing in the global maritime industry.

During the PMMA’s 200th commencement exercises, Marcos hailed the graduates of the institution’s “Madasiklan” Class of 2023 for doing a “good job” and expressed hope that they would continue demonstrating commitment, dedication, and integrity as they embark on a new journey.

“Because as you take on your respective roles, whichever career path you may pursue, I encourage you to continue to do everything with the same amount of patience and resilience that you have shown during the time you had here in PMMA,” he said in a speech delivered at the Grandstand of the PMMA Complex in San Narciso, Zambales.

“As you do so, help the Philippines maintain its name as a global figure in the maritime industry and an asset to the entire world.”

The Madasiklan Class, which stands for “MAgiting na may DAngal at SImbolo ng Kawal ng karagatAN,” is composed of 224 graduating midshipmen.

M/1CL Allan Jay Jumamoy, who hails from Tagbilaran City, Bohol, graduated as class valedictorian. He received the Presidential Saber from Marcos and the Academic Excellence Award.

Marcos expressed optimism that the graduates would bear in mind the skills, training, and values that the PMMA had instilled in them, as they prepare for their future duties as officers and engineers of the Philippine Navy, the Philippine Coast Guard, or the merchant marine industry.

“This feat represents all that you have brought to the table so that we may fulfill the goals that you have set for your lives. This success also represents all the good these investments will bring in the future. Expect breakthroughs for yourselves, for your families, and also for our country,” he told the 224 PMMA graduates.

“Let that thought and let the opportunity to make a change in our society propel you to excel further and to become the leaders that you were trained and meant to be.”

Marcos also thanked the private shipping industry for its support for the PMMA, saying it is vital in elevating the Philippines’ capabilities as a maritime nation.

“The government welcomes the private sector’s support in promoting quality maritime education and training that allow this industry to be more innovative, resilient, and adaptive to the ever-changing world,” he said.

To further improve the maritime sector, Marcos directed the concerned government agencies to work with the PMMA to ensure that maritime education is “more responsive to the needs of the nation.”

The PMMA serves as the pioneer marine institution in the country and is considered one of the nation’s oldest institutions with a history dating back to 1820. It offers merchant marine-related degree courses, as well as short-term training and re-training of marine officers and rating seafarers.

During the Seafarers Summit at Conrad Hotel in Pasay City on June 26, Marcos emphasized the need for the maritime industry to adopt new technologies and secure emerging opportunities for Filipino seafarers.

The Philippines remains the top provider of seafarers for both officers and ratings, across all departments, aboard merchant cargo vessels, according to a United Nations Conference on Trade and Development 2021 study.

An estimated 489,852 Filipino seafarers were deployed in 2022, constituting about 25 percent of the world’s mariners.

Filipino seafarers remitted USD6.54 billion in 2021 from USD6.353 billion in 2020, or an increase of 3 percent.

Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos (PNA)