On usual proactive management, United Maritime Training Center (UMTC) conducted pilot classes for the government’s safety training on priority areas last October 10-12, 2017 at its training facility in Ermita, Manila. These specialized trainings were Direct Service to Passengers in Passenger Spaces, Ship Crowd Management and Human Behavior.
The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) confirms the significance of UMTC’s project based on the public remarks of Ms. Presca Lee Lugo, MARINA Supervisor on Maritime Education & Training Standards. Ms. Lugo says, “We are very fortunate for UMTC allowing us MARINA to have this opportunity for assisting us in developing this course.”
She even congratulated UMTC, assuring her sentiments carry the recognition of the MARINA STCW Office and OIC Exec Director Vera Joy Ban-eg for UMTC being the first training provider to develop and offer a complete course package in the pilot classes.
Ms. Lugo is understandably elated as she leads the development of MARINA model courses to streamline the accreditation system of Maritime Education and Training (MET) in the country. MARINA has called on the private sector to help develop the package for the 28 courses.
It may be recalled that MARINA issued the terms of reference (ToR) for these courses to UMTC and other training centers last July 21, 2017 at the Usapang STCW Forum, the agency’s official program that discusses the concerns of the maritime manpower industry on administrative and policy implementation of the administration.
Supervisor Lugo claims that the Philippines is the one taking the lead in the development of IMO model courses for passengers on STCW Standards of Training, Watchkeeping and Certification, particularly based on amendments in November 25, 2016.
Resolution MSC. 417(97) was adopted on the same date, more on Chapter V – Standards- regarding special training for personnel on certain types of ships.
Chapter V, Section A-V/2 was replaced to read:
“Section A-V/2: Mandatory minimum requirements for the training and qualification of masters, officers, ratings and other personnel on passenger ships.”
Meaning, all personnel serving on board passenger ships engaged on international voyages shall have attained the abilities that are appropriate to their duties and responsibilities. Experts believe the rigid requirement is a reaction of IMO on the bevy of accidents on passenger ships, notably on the cruise ship Costa Concordia.
UMTC instructor Capt. Jess Pascual facilitated the three-day pilot classes, viz:
- October 10: Lectures for Safety Training for personnel providing direct service to passengers in passenger spaces
- October 11: Lectures for Passenger Ship Crowd Management and Human Behavior
- October 12: Practical exercises for both courses
The pilot class was composed of 12 trainees from Career Ship Management and 12 seasoned observers and validators, with years of experience working onboard passenger ships, and representatives from training centers as instructors.
The 24 participants each received a MARINA Certificate of Appreciation and Certificate of Completion of the two courses from UMTC.
After the courses, the trainees should be able to:
- establish and maintain effective communication with passengers and crew during normal and emergency situations;
- demonstrate to passengers the use of personal life-saving appliances, lead and act as muster station leader; and
- explain procedures in embarking and disembarking passengers in normal and emergency situations with focused attention to persons needing special assistance.
Supervisor Lugo met with observers and validators after the classes, reiterating that UMTC was given provisional authority for six months and expected to finalize the package in the next six months.
Alongside the ToR, she would be expecting a package with the application attached for faster evaluation and approval for training centers to legally offer the accredited courses.
Arguably, the UMTC pilot classes and courses therein are models for other training centers to replicate. The package answers to IMO mandates and is compliant to the latest amendments on international conventions into force.