Mission TABANG launches two simultaneous relief for Eastern Visayas

MPCF Camarines Sur Vice President for External Affairs Nimpa V. Jimenez (left) and Board of Trustees Chair Evita L Jimenez (right) sit with Norwegian Training Center Manila Director, Capt Eric Blom during their meeting to plan the Mission TABANG relief to Tacloban, Leyte last November 23, 2013.

Mission TABANG (Visayan word for HELP)-Samar Leyte and Bohol (SLB) was organized last November 10 or two days after super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) hit Eastern Visayas by the Mariners System in Bicol and Manila, the Center for People Empowerment in Governance (CenPEG) and UGOP Waraynon, an NGO of Samar and Leyte residents based in Metro Manila

The first Mission Tabang voyage that left South Harbor Manila last November 23 was made possible with the assistance of Geir Thorseng, maritime consultant of the Norwegian Embassy who facilitated the meeting of Mariners with the Norwegian Training Center-Manila headed by Capt. Erik Freberg Blom who immediately chartered a training ship, T/S Kapitan Oca to transport the relief goods gathered by Mission TABANG Manila to Tacloban, Leyte.

The mission for Tacloban was coordinated with Tulong UP and the Office of the President, University of the Philippines, Philippine Public Safety College and its former president, Dr. Tingting Cojuangco and other institutions and organizations. VP for External Affairs Nimpa Jimenez served as the Maritime Coordinator for the Mission TABANG Manila

Before the Mission TABANG relief to Tacloban via the Norwegian chartered ship KFC, send off party shown here are from front left: MPCF Camarines Sur Vice President for External Affairs Nimpa V. Jimenez, UGOP Waraynon Coordinator Dr Precilla Ampuan, NTC deputy director and ship captain, Joeren Noestvik, Dr. Tingting Cojuangco, for prer president of the Philippine Public Safety College, NTC Director Erik Blom, MPCF Chair Evita Jimenez also of CenPEG, Bishop Noel Tendero of the Philippine Ecumenical Church and others

The next day, November 24, a bigger expedition consisting of a 20-vehicle convoy of relief goods, medical supplies, water tankers from Maynilad Water and buses which transported the volunteers was successfully launched by Mission TABANG-SLB through the Mariners System, local government partners (LGUs) in Camarines Sur and Albay, and volunteers from the Philippine Medical Association (PMA) facilitated by Mission TABANG Manila via Legaspi City to Matnog, Sorsogon from where the goods consisting of rice, canned goods, clothes, toiletries and other necessities were shipped by RSL Roro vessel to Samar. Also among the major supporters and donors for the relief mission were Alagang Kapatid, Inc., a charity foundation of TV 5 and water filtering equipment and water tanks from Maynilad.
‘Mission Tabang-Eastern Samar’ Task Group Director Commodore Dante La. Jimenez (2nd from left) of Mariners System pays a courtesy call to Governor Conrado Nicart, Jr. (extreme left) upon arrival at the Provincial Capitol in Borongan City. Others in the picture are volunteer delegation-heads of participating mission partners - the Provincial Administrator of Bulacan Bulacan LGU (3rd from left), and Dra. Joy Gomez, President of the Philippine Medical Association (Bulacan Chapter).

A scene at the relief goods distribution in BALANGKAYAN Town, Eastern Samar conducted by the team led by Commodore Dante Jimenez as the Mission’s Task Group Director (center in orange shirt). At the background are washed-away concrete edifices with 90% of the residential houses in the municipality totally damaged by the storm surge brought by Supertyphoon Yolanda.

The Mission Tabang Team poses for a souvenir picture with Eastern Samar Governor Conrado Nicart, Jr. (4th from left), UGOP Waraynon President Judge Freddie Ampuan (3rd from left), MPCF President Dante Jimenez (5th from left), Commodore Efren Rodriguez (4th from right) of the Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary – Bicol and volunteers from Mariners System.

The 20-vehicle convoy of cargo trucks with relief goods and medical supplies, water tankers, buses used by the volunteers and ambulances were loaded in the RORO ship at the Port of Matnog, Sorsogon enroute to Allen Port in Northern Samar before the team proceeded to the target areas for the relief operation and medical mission.


During a short program held at the ship’s saloon, Ms. Evita L. Jimenez, Chair of MPCF Canaman Camarines Sur expressed her gratitude to the partners and volunteers who made Mission TABANG-SLB possible. William Johan Hovlan, one of the first correspondents from Norway who broke the news of destruction of Tacloban hours after it was struck by supertyphoon Yolanda was also given due recognition.

From left: Ms. Nimpa Jimenez, vice-president for external affairs of Mariners’ System, Capt Erik Blom,
managing director of NTC-M, Dr Tingting Cojuangco, Capt Joeren Noestvik, UGOP chair Judge Freddie Ampuan
and Board of Trustees Chair Evita Jimenez, also of CenPEG.

On Dec. 3, formal recognition and appreciation was given to Mission TABANG led by Mariners System represented by EVP Merle San Pedro, VP for External Affairs, Nimpa V Jimenez; Mr. Geir Thorseng, maritime adviser of the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Manila and the Norwegian Training Center represented by Captain Joeren Noestvik by UP President Alfredo E. Pascual during a welcome dinner held at the UP Executive House for faculty and students of UP campuses in Tacloban and Palo, Leyte. (The campuses were shut down due to the Yolanda devastation, with their students cross-registering in UP Diliman and other campus units.) Also given special recognition was CenPEG represented by Dr. Ed Clemente and Prof Bobby Tuazon, members of the Board of Directors. (see separate story)

Midshipman Jifrey Azor grabs gold anew in recent Pamaskong Handog PSL swimfest

Jifrey Azor after receiving his gold medal in one of the events at the 50th Pamaskong Handog PSL Leg Series – The 4th Nikki Coseteng Swimming Cup held at the Diliman Preparation School, at UP Diliaman, Quezon City

Quezon City –Players from Mariners Polytechnic Colleges Foundation (MPCF) Camarines Sur swimming varsity have made it again by bringing home gold, silver and bronze medals from the 51st Philippine Swimming League (PSL) Pamaskong Handog swimfest held in Quezon City from December 21 to 22, 2013.

In a message conveyed by MPCF Chair Evita L. Jimenez, she confirmed the new winnings made by the school delegation led by swimming sensation Cadet Jifrey Azor who got two (2) gold medals, two (2) silver medals and two (2) bronze medals in different swimming events plus the award as ‘Most Outstanding Swimmer’.

Aside from Azor, his team-mates have contributed to the over-all effort of the varsity in bringing honor to the school with Cadet Romeo Galvez, Jr. landing 6th place in the over-all standing , Cadet Mark Bermejo – 9th place and Jay-Ar Almendral in the 10th place.

“Taking into consideration that the contest participated in by the members of the schools’ swimming varsity was a national event, the winnings attained by them is something to be proud of”, says MPCF President Dante La. Jimenez who sent a congratulatory message to the team.

A scene from the 50th PSL Leg series recently held in Quezon City where MPCF swimmer Jifrey Azor got two gold, two silver and two bronze medals while his team-mates landed prominently in the over-all standing in the swimfest

Meantime, it can be noted that the Mariners’ swimming team thru Jifrey Azor has been carving a name lately in the country’s swimming sports record.

Aside from the victories attained by the group in September 2013 at the Ibalong Festival in Guinobatan, Albay, more medals were secured from the Jorge ‘ER” Ejercito Cup in October held in Santa Cruz, Laguna. This was followed by more winning streaks at the swimming contest held at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in early December 2013 and lately, in the 51st PSL Pamaskong Handog held in Quezon City.

Jifrey Azor showing his winning form at the Ibalong Festival swimfest held in Guinobatan, Albay in September this year.

The school’s swimming star is also fresh from his conquest of gold medals from the Royal Bangkok Sports Club 5th Invitational Swimming Championship held in Bangkok, Thailand from November 30 to December 1, 2015.

“With this record of victories not only in national but in international competitions particularly the feat attained by Midshipman Jifrey Azor, the school is bent on supporting water sports events which have bearing with skills required from seafarers which help them prepare for the profession they have chosen”, MPCF President Commodore Dante La. Jimenez added.

Philippine Swimming League, Mariners tie up

December 15, 2013 9:31 pm

Philippine Swimming League President Susan Papa and Secretary General Dr. Maria Susan Benasa with Commodore Dante Jimenez and Leopoldo Tenorio during the ribbon cutting of the Mariners swimming pool.

The Philippine Swimming League (PSL) has tied up with Mariners in an effort to strengthen its grassroots development program in the Bicol Region.

Bicol, known as typhoon belt area, awakens a Survival Program through Mariners’ Polytechnic College under Commodore Dante Jimenez by building a swimming/survival training pool at Rawis Legazpi.

PSL President and Founder, Susan Papa led the ribbon cutting together with Capt. Leopoldo Tenorio and PSL Secretary General Dr. Maria Susan Benasa.

The Mariners’ Legazpi Swimming/Survival training pool is dedicated to students, cadets and cadettes of Mariners Polytechnic College for their survival training exercise and physical fitness program to enhance Maritime competencies stipulated in the Standard Trainings, Certification and Watchkeeping.

During the opening ceremony, PSL swimmer and student of Mariners Polytechnic College Jifrey Azur, shows his prowess thru exhibition of different swimming strokes.

Azur was the Most Outstanding Swimmer for his age-group in the 50th PSL Leg series last November.

He was chosen by the PSL to represent the country in the Royal Bangkok Swim Meet held in Bangkok Thailand. He won a gold medal in the boys’ 15-Over 100-meter backstroke.

“It is his first time to compete abroad, and we are proud of him. We will continue to support him in his swimming endeavor,” said Commodore Jimenez.

”Azur will participate in the forthcoming biennial world university games called Summer Universiade 2015, to be held in Gwangju, South Korea,” assured Papa.

“His bold effort embodies the courageous and resilient spirit of a Filipino and opportunity was given for financially challenge yet highly deserving athletes to train, developed and to be able to compete internationally as parallel to the mission and vision of Philippine Swimming League,” added Papa. ###

Batch 2 of Mariners’ Tabang Mission:Tacloban starts relief and clearing-cleaning operation at National Maritime Polytechnic

These files of debris were common-sight in the campus of National Maritime Polytechnic in Tacloban City especially before volunteer –students from MPCF Bicol started the clearing/clean-up operation

Tacloban City – The second batch of Tabang Mission: Tacloban of Mariners Polytechnic Colleges Foundation (MPCF) Legazpi & Camarines Sur and Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary (PCGA) Bicol which left on December 11, 2013-Wednesday has reached this city at 3 o’clock in the morning the following day.

MPCF Maritime Cadets who volunteered for the Tabang Mission: Tacloban batch 2 while in action at the NMP campus

This was confirmed by Task Group Director Dante La. Jimenez who joined the contingent Thursday in Tacloban City for the mission and to attend the meeting of the Board of Trustees of National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP) with him as the official representative of the Philippine Association of Maritime Institutions (PAMI) in which it is an ex-officio member. Secretary Baldoz of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) was presiding officer of said Board Meeting.

A cleaner and better looking portion of the NMP campus after the first round of clearing/clean-up operation done by the Mariners contingent was made

In this gathering, Tabang Mission: Tacloban Task Group Director Jimenez called on other maritime institutions in the country to help NMP not only in the clearing/cleaning operation of the school campus but to send pool of experts from the different schools who can repair and troubleshoot expensive maritime laboratory equipment which can still be made functional after having been submerged by seawater when the storm surge brought by super typhoon Yolanda destroyed the city.

(Left picture) - PCGA Captain Steven James Diño, Commandant of the CGA-OTC Unit at MPCF Legazpi led the distribution of relief goods inside NMP campus while the clearing/clean-up operation went on. (Right Picture) – Volunteers inspect the relief packs prior to distribution in Tacloban City

In his appeal for support from PAMI members, he expressed the dire need of National Maritime Polytechnic for assistance so it can restore its normal operation the soonest possible time.

“The students, faculty, staff and employees of NMP are victims of a natural calamity and therefore we cannot comfortably just leave them alone as they themselves are still in distress up to this point-in-time. Most of them have lost their homes, their belongings and worst, some have lost their loved-ones and their HOPE. Our little help will be of utmost significance to the men and women of this institution so they can start to stand up again in their own feet,” said President Dante Jimenez of MPCF.

“With a rough estimate of the destruction in this institution reaching to more than 300 Million Pesos, we at PAMI can contribute some of our manpower resources and expertise to restore at least some of the damaged equipment which can still be made functional.”, Jimenez added.

Meanwhile, The cleaning and clearing operation at the school campus was done by the first batch of volunteer-students from Mariners Polytechnic Colleges Foundation (MPCF) Legazpi City, Albay and from MPCF Camarines Sur on December 7 and 8, 2013. The second batch from the same institutions arrived December 12, 2013 to continue with what has been started.

Captain Forter Pugoon (right), Director of National Maritime Polytechnic poses with Commodore Dante La. Jimenez in-front of a ‘washed-away’ fully-enclosed lifeboat before the start of the clearing/clean-up operation done by MPCF-Bicol volunteer-cadets

The contingent from the Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary-Bicol and the second batch from the Mariners schools had Commander Aproniano San Juan, the Assistant Commandant of the Coast Guard Auxiliary-Officer Training Corp (CGA-OTC) at Mariners Legazpi as its head. The group is expected to stay for three days for the relief operation and the clearing/clean-up activity in the campus of the National Maritime Polytechnic in Tacloban City. ###

Bicol Autonomy Movement celebrates 4th anniversary;
Mariners System plays host to guest - Chief Justice Reynato Puno

Former Supreme Court Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno (at the podium) delivers his address as Guest of Honor and Speaker at the 4th Founding Anniversary of the Bicol Autonomy Movement. At the head table are (left to right) BAM Provincial Convenors Atty. Susan Ordenario of Catanduanes and Professor Renne Gumba of Camarines Sur, Vice Governor Fortunato Peña (in checkered shirt), BAM Regional Lead Convenor Dante La. Jimenez, Naga City Councilor Atty. Miles Raquid Arroyo, BAM Provincial Convenors Godofredo Ditan of Sorsogon, Louie San Ramon of Camarines Norte and Benjy Santiago of Albay (extreme right).

Canaman, Camariners Sur – The Mariners schools in Camarines Sur and in Naga City have played hosts to former Supreme Court Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno when he graced the 4th Founding Anniversary of the Bicol Autonomy Movement (BAM) on December 7, 2013 as its Guest of Honor and Speaker.

The occasion was held at the JC Jimenez Gymnasium, Mariners Polytechnic Colleges Foundation (MPCF) in Canaman Camarines Sur while the guest was billeted at the Mariners Training and Hotel Institute (MTHI) of Mariners Polytechnic Colleges in Naga City, where he stayed overnight after the program.

The Gymnasium was jam-packed with advocates and volunteer-participants led by the respective Provincial Convenors and delegates coming from the six provinces of the Bicol Region who attended the affair to support the cause espoused by the Movement. The crowd was mesmerized by the revelations made by the former Chief Magistrate and one of them was when he said, “Of the 70 million families we have in the Philippines, those who wield power as elected officials come only from 100 families”.

(Left picture) The youth sector has manifested interest in supporting the cause of the Bicol Autonomy Movement as seen in the crowd at the event. The professional sector (left picture) was present to listen to former CJ Puno with Judge Soliman Santos (in blue shirt), Executive Vice President Helios Pastoral of the Metro Naga Chamber of Commerce and Industry (in white shirt), together with the ladies from the Rotary Club of Naga.

He detests the existence of political dynasties in the country today. “The government run by the few results in the poverty of the many”, said retired Chief Justice Puno in his speech before the hundreds of people who attended the program at the Movement’s anniversary.

He endorsed its advocacy by saying that regions in the country like Bicol should be given genuine autonomy so that its natural resources should benefit first the Bicolanos and that they should be given the authority to run its government with less intervention from the national government based in Metro Manila.

He believes that the micro-affairs in the provinces should be left to the regions to manage. This way, minute details can be taken-cared of well effectively by local leaders instead of leaving it to the hands of people in Manila who are, proximity-wise, are far away from where the action is.

The stage backdraft at the occasion of the 4th Founding Anniversary of the Bicol Autonomy Movement The former Chief Justice was amazed by the unity manifested by Bicolanos during the occasion as he saw the common stand shown by them especially on problems encountered with the faltering supply of electricity which leads to electric firms now to being privatized and taken-over by giant companies; disadvantages are anticipated to crop-up in the long-run for the Bicolano consumers should this scheme be implemented.

The members of media had their heyday in interviewing Former Supreme Court Chief Justice Reynato Puno on his views on Bicol Autonomy and the ‘good governance’ advocacy which he espouses thru people’s initiative.

Meanwhile, BAM Regional Lead Convenor Dante Jimenez has expressed pleasure on the newly-found ally in the person of Former Chief Justice Puno.

“A credible national figure like Chief Justice Puno supporting the cause of the Bicol Autonomy Movement will certainly boost the acceleration of the endeavor towards its realization”, BAM leader Dante Jimenez further disclosed. ###

Elsevier Foundation Awards 2013 Grants to Champion Libraries in Developing Countries and Women in Science

December 9th, 2013
$700,000 awarded to Innovative Libraries, New Scholars and Nurse Faculty Programs

Amsterdam, December 9, 2013

The Elsevier Foundation announced today the 2013 grant recipients for the Innovative Libraries in Developing Countries and New Scholars award programs. In total, $700,000 has been committed to ten institutions around the world in addition to five ongoing multiyear grants and the Nurse Faculty program. The Elsevier Foundation is funded by Elsevier, a global provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services.

“We are always on the lookout for game-changing projects that can serve as models with lasting impact on our health and science communities,” said David Ruth, Executive Director of the Elsevier Foundation and Senior Vice President Global Communications, Elsevier. “This year, we’ve identified some very compelling new opportunities to support big data, research capacity building, transparency and evidence-based medicine in the developing world. Our New Scholars grants focus on boosting team science diversity and innovation, targeting STEM inclusion in community colleges and a unique tropical health partnership between Portuguese speaking women scientists in Africa and their Portuguese counterparts. We are excited to able to add these excellent projects to the Foundation’s record of support for advancing science and health in new and innovative ways.”

Innovative Libraries

The Innovative Libraries in Developing Countries program awards grants to libraries for innovation in improving access and use of scientific, technical and medical information. The 2013 library grant recipients address real developing world issues through the use of STM information resources and include:

  • Author Capacity Building in Africa, Albert R. Mann Library, Cornell University
  • Towards the Collaborative repository for Ethiopian academic and research institutions, Consortium of Ethiopian Academic and Research Libraries (CEARL) and African Digital Library Support Network (ADLSN).
  • Library Information Resources to Enhance the University of Ghana, School of Public Health Program, Morehouse School of Medicine
  • Strengthening education, research and practice in emergency care: Information skills integration in the Ghana Emergency Medicine Collaborative, Taubman Health Sciences Library, University of Michigan Library
  • Developing a Globally Connected LIBRARY 4 SAFE SEAFARING (L4SS), Mariners Polytechnic Colleges Foundation, Philippines

Joy Paulson, Director, TEEAL Project and International Projects Librarian, Cornell University, remarked, “We are very excited to receive support from the Elsevier Foundation for the development and implementation of our author capacity building program. Building on the access to Research4Life and TEEAL and the e-resources training connected to them, this new program will focus on developing the skills to enable young faculty in Ethiopia, Nigeria and Malawi to publish the results of their research in international journals. In the long run, this will ensure that the results of African agricultural research are disseminated more widely.”

New Scholars

The New Scholars Program supports projects to help early- to mid-career women scientists balance family responsibilities with demanding academic careers and addresses the attrition rate of talented women scientists. The 2013 grants include:

Strengthening Team Science & Work Life Satisfaction in the UC System, University of California Santa Barbara
African Network of Portuguese speaking women in Tropical Health, Institute of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Portugal
Cambridge Equality Collaboration: Advancing Women in Science within & beyond Cambridge, University of Cambridge
Motivating Enrollment of Women into STEM Majors, LaGuardia Community College
Womens IS Network, Worcester Polytechnic University

Jeremy Sanders, the University of Cambridge’s Pro-Vice Chancellor said, “The New Scholars funding from Elsevier is very welcome as it will enable us to expand and extend some of our most exciting collaborative gender equality projects over the next two years. The University of Cambridge is committed to supporting the advancement of women in STEMM disciplines in recruitment, retention and promotion. Our aim is to develop the best possible practice in this area and the funding from Elsevier will allow us to continue this innovative and partnership work.”

In 2013, the Elsevier Foundation’s Nurse Faculty Program committed to an additional multiyear grant (2014-2016) to Sigma Theta Tau International Foundation for Nursing to continue developing an 18 month leadership academy and alleviate the nursing faculty shortage through retaining and transitioning new nurse educators to the faculty role. # # #

About The Elsevier Foundation

The Elsevier Foundation is a corporate charity funded by Elsevier, a global provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services. The Elsevier Foundation provides grants to knowledge centered institutions around the world, with a focus on developing world libraries, nurse faculty and scholars in the early stages of their careers. Since its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than 60 grants worth millions of dollars to non-profit organizations working in these fields. Through gift-matching, the Foundation also supports the efforts of Elsevier employees to play a positive role in their local and global communities.

About Elsevier

Elsevier is a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services. The company works in partnership with the global science and health communities to publish more than 2,000 journals, including The Lancet and Cell, and close to 20,000 book titles, including major reference works from Mosby and Saunders. Elsevier’s online solutions include ScienceDirect, Scopus, SciVal, Reaxys, ClinicalKey and Mosby’s Suite, which enhance the productivity of science and health professionals, helping research and health care institutions deliver better outcomes more cost-effectively.

A global business headquartered in Amsterdam, Elsevier employs 7,000 people worldwide. The company is part of Reed Elsevier Group plc, a world leading provider of professional information solutions. The group employs more than 30,000 people, including more than 15,000 in North America. Reed Elsevier Group plc is owned equally by two parent companies, Reed Elsevier PLC and Reed Elsevier NV. Their shares are traded on the London, Amsterdam and New York Stock Exchanges using the following ticker symbols: London: REL; Amsterdam: REN; New York: RUK and ENL.

Media contact
Ylann Schemm
Senior Corporate Responsibility Manager, Elsevier
+31 (0) 20 485 2025

Mariners System holds strategic planning confab; firms-up road map for the next years

Professor Bobby Tuazon of the Center for People Empowerment in Governance (CenPEG) of U.P. shares inputs to the participants during the 2-day Mariners System’s Strategic Planning Conference

Nabua, Camarines Sur – The Mariners schools in Bicol held a two-day strategic planning conference at Macagang Hotel and Resort, this municipality on November 29 and 30, 2013 to revisit and firm-up the operation plan it has chartered for the next five years.

This was attended by the members of the Mariners System’s top officialdom and department heads of the Mariners Polytechnic Colleges/Foundation (MPC/F) institutions in Legazpi City, Albay, Camarines Sur and Naga City.

All members of the Board of Trustees were present in this 2-day forum with Chairperson Emeritus Eliza Lazaro Jimenez, Commodore Dante La. Jimenez of MPCF Legazpi and Camarines Sur, Dr. Marilissa J. Ampuan and Dr. Gabriel L. Jimenez of MPC Naga, MPCF Camarines Sur Chair Evita L. Jimenez and Vice President for Finance Merle J. San Pedro, in attendance. Professor Bobby Tuazon of the Center for People Empowerment in Governance (CenPEG) and Professor Amante Sofronio Maragtas from the University of the Philippines were among the invited speakers who shared inputs to the administration and participants in tackling multi-aspects of the operation of the three schools.

Included in the subjects taken up as sidelight in the conference was the report on what transpired in Eastern Samar in which the Mariners System’s team was part of the 4-day Tabang Mission: Eastern Samar project led by Task Group Director Dante La. Jimenez and undertaken together with other participating groups like CenPEG, Kalayag Foundation, UGOP Waraynon, Inc., the Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary-Bicol, Philippine Medical Association (Bulacan Chapter), LGU, Bulacan, LGU Legazpi City, RSL Shipping Lines, and others.

The conference speakers and some members of the Board of Trustees while listening to the Tabang Mission: Eastern Samar report as one of the sidelights in the Mariners System’s strategic planning conference. (Left to right) Professor Bobby Tuazon of CenPEG, VP for Finance Merle J. San Pedro, MPCF Camariners Sur Chair Evita L. Jimenez, Chairman Emeritus Eliza Lazaro Jimenez and Professor Amante Sofronio Maragtas of the University of the Philippines.

The conference analyzed the institutions’ strengths and weaknesses, the opportunities and the threats which opened the eyes of key players who were present so that all moves to be made in the future will be guided by the awareness of where Mariners System is now and where it is going.

The Strategic Planning Conference was timely with the present year about to end and with 2014 being just around the corner.

Participants from MPCF Legazpi and Camarines Sur pose for a souvenir picture at the end of the conference. (Left to right) Adel Bausa, VP for Administration Nap Mangente, President Dante La. Jimenez, HRD Director Lydia Cervantes and Asst. HRD Popi Jimenez, Alen Nabong, Elmer Abad from the Corporate Public Affairs Office (CPAO) and Jess Sarte of MPCF Camarines Sur HRD.

AB MasCom Department Chair Dr. Mariel Estrella (2nd from left) and Ms. Gladys Belmes (extreme left) together with Department Heads from Mariners Polytechnic Colleges-Naga were among the conference participants

The event strengthened the commitment of the administration, the officers and staff of the schools as they pledge to double their effort in bringing excellence to the workplace for the Mariners schools to be able to sustain the pace it has started especially in producing quality graduates which has become its trademark in the maritime world. ###

Tabang Mission of Mariners and Coast Guard Auxiliary of Bicol sends team to Tacloban City

This is how a portion of the campus of National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP) in Tacloban City looked like before the clearing and clean-up operation undertaken by Tabang Mission: Tacloban from Bicol. Note the second floor of the building which was completely submerged by seawater during the storm surge brought by super typhoon Yolanda.

Tacloban City, Leyte – The first batch of Tabang Mission: Tacloban of Mariners Polytechnic Colleges Foundation (MPCF) Legazpi City and Camarines Sur and the Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary (PCGA) rolled for Tacloban City on December 6, 2013 for a two-day undertaking to distribute more relief goods and to help restore the campus of National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP), a government maritime institution in the city badly hit by super typhoon Yolanda.

In a message received from Mission Tabang Task Group Director Dante La. Jimenez, together with the contingent that just completed the mission are PCGA-OTC/CWTS-NSTP groups from MPCF Legazpi and Camarines Sur which helped in the clearing and cleaning operation at the National Maritime Polytechnic headed by Captain Forter Pugoon who serves as director of the institution. Up to now, classes in this school has not been resumed, four weeks after typhoon Yolanda devastated the area.

Tabang Mission: Tacloban Task Group Director Dante La. Jimenez (center) poses with National Maritime Polytechnic Director - Captain Forter Pugoon (Left side). The maritime laboratory equipment at the background might appear to be o.k. but after having been submerged in seawater by the storm surge, these have been declared as totally damaged. More than P300 million pesos worth of infrastructure and paraphernalia were destroyed in this institution.

Captain Steven James Diño, head of the MPCF-Legazpi contingent (side view with cap) as he boards the RORO Vessel with the rest of the team at Port Matnog in Sorsogon while on their way to Tacloban City .

Captain Pugoon has sent his message of gratitude to the leadership of Mission Tabang: Tacloban for the contribution rendered by the group especially in restoring the environment around the school which was in total disarray after the storm. With the Mission, the debris in the campus has been cleared and almost all portions in the campus has been cleaned by the volunteers from Bicol.

The volunteers from MPCF-Legazpi was headed by PCGA Captain Steven James Diño while the team from MPCF-Camarines Sur has PCGA Captain Felix Bautista as its leader.

Meanwhile, a second batch of Tabang Mission: Tacloban is being readied slated to leave on December 11, 2013 and for a 4-day operation back to this city worst affected by super typhoon Yolanda. ###

100,000 fishermen from Yolanda-hit areas need boats

By Delfin T. Mallari Jr., Inquirer Southern Luzon and Carla P. Gomez Inquirer Visayas
Posted: 2:00 am, Saturday, November 23, 2013 at

Survivors walk through the rubble of damaged homes and a ship that was washed ashore in Tacloban city, Leyte. AP FILE PHOTO

LUCENA CITY—A group of fishermen expressed frustration at plans announced by the Department of Agriculture (DA) to distribute 1,300 boats to fishermen, saying the number of fishermen who had lost their boats to Supertyphoon “Yolanda” could easily reach 100,000.

In a statement, Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) said the DA plan to distribute 1,300 boats and 4,000 nets to fishermen who survived Yolanda but lost their boats was not a sufficient response to the fishermen’s plight following the storm.

In Bacolod City, another group is launching a search for donors for boats to be given fishermen who lost theirs.

The Negrense Volunteers for Change (NVC), a nongovernment organization based in Bacolod, said it was searching for donors for boats to be given to at least 9,500 fishermen in northern Panay and 981 in Negros Occidental province.

Millie Kilayko, NVC president, said the group launched the campaign mainly through social media. Aside from the search for boat donors, Kilayko said NVC had also sent relief items to Yolanda survivors.

But Kilayko said giving boats to fishermen was as important as providing immediate relief to survivors.

The group’s campaign, called Peter Project 2, is focused on giving back to fishermen their basic livelihood tool—the boat.

As of Wednesday, NVC had received donations of 175 boats and would continue to solicit more, Kilayko said.

She said NVC volunteers would visit fishing communities and search for qualified beneficiaries using data from government agencies, like the social welfare department.

Once an individual qualifies to become a beneficiary of Peter Project 2, he would be asked to sign an agreement stating he could not sell or rent out his boat. NVC would also keep records of the catch of fishermen who received donated boats and report these to the donors by e-mail.

The NVC has a Facebook page ( and maintains a website (

Salvador France, Pamalakaya vice chair, in a statement, said the number of fishermen who had lost their boats when Yolanda struck in Eastern Visayas and other areas was close to 100,000.

The 1,300 fishing boats that the DA planned to distribute was good for only one fishing village in Tacloban City, said France.

On Monday, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala announced the DA was overseeing the construction of 1,300 fishing boats equipped with 5-horsepower engines to help fishermen return to their source of livelihood and soften Yolanda’s impact on the country’s food security.

Citing his group’s own study, France said more than half of the number of casualties in Yolanda-ravaged provinces in the Visayas and Palawan and Mindoro provinces were fishermen.

France said the 100,000 fishing boats should be distributed for free to fishermen in the provinces of Leyte, Samar, northern Cebu, northern Iloilo, Aklan, Capiz, Antique, Guimaras, northern Negros, Palawan, Masbate, Mindoro Oriental and Mindoro Occidental.

Quoting Alcala, France said the damage to the fishery sector in Eastern Visayas wrought by Yolanda could reach P1 billion.

CenPEG reaction to appointment of “reconstruction czar”

The rebuilding of Visayas provinces devastated by a major earthquake and supertyphoon Yolanda should not be led by a so-called “reconstruction czar” or should government assume that the success of massive rehabilitation depends on one man.

Given the scale of the devastation in terms of human lives lost and missing persons, livelihoods and properties destroyed – as well as government’s dismal performance in many reconstruction programs in the past – rebuilding efforts risk being a failure if left to politicians and disaster capitalists who are out to make a killing from the crisis.

In fact, the anointed “czar”, politicians, and big business are the ones who need rehabilitation on how to transform a culture of greed to values of serving public interest first and foremost. But that, of course, is a tall order.

Government’s performance record in rehabilitating large communities, economies, and ecosystems destroyed by mining, logging, oil spills, and development aggression over the past decades has been a failure that no signs of human life and ecosystems being restored are visible. Billions of money for rehabilitation were wasted – and only business firms and incorrigibly corrupt politicians profited. In fact, poverty has turned from bad to worse in these areas.

Genuine reconstruction which could take several years can only materialize by allowing the people and disaster victims in these areas to take a bigger role in planning. Their lives already made impoverished by extractive industries and politics-driven “development programs” making their regions some of the poorest in the country, justice will be served if the millions of displaced families now are given the right to have a bigger voice in rebuilding their lives.

The first thing to do is for the people of Visayas through their community organizations, real NGOs, and other institutions to convene immediately for a public summit where their representatives can design a people-centered reconstruction proposal. They should be given greater representation in any government-sponsored reconstruction scheme so as to ensure that all resources and funds go to rehabilitation projects. All funds, grants, and other resources as well as procurements and other transactions should be transparent to the people for purposes of public monitoring and auditing. Rebuilding experts should be tapped from non-partisan institutions like the academe, policy think tanks, and competent NGOs and not from the corporate, construction, and urban planning investors.

Investors can help bankroll reconstruction only if motivated by conscience and social responsibility.

(Please see attachment for further reference.)

Director for Policy Studies
Center for People Empowerment in Governance (CenPEG)
Dec. 2, 2013

Midshipman Jifrey Azor of MPCF conquers Bangkok with gold in swimming competition

Midshipman Jifrey Azor (2nd from left – standing) with Ms.Susan Papa (3rd from left in black shirt), President of the Philippine Swimming League as they pose for a souvenir photo in Bangkok, Thailand with some of the members of the Philippineswimming team.

Bangkok, Thailand – Mariners’ Polytechnic Colleges Foundation (MPCF) Camariner Sur’s swimming sensation Midshipman Jifrey Azor has shown his potential, this time as an international athlete by winning two gold and one silver medals in the Royal Bangkok Sports Club 5th Invitational Swimming Championship held in Bangkok, Thailand on November 30 and December 1, 2013.

In a report received by Mariners System, Commodore Dante La. Jimenez, President of MPCF Camarines Sur confirmed the recent victories won by Azor which include gold medals in the 100-meter backstroke & in relay swimming, another silver medal and a trophy, with him having been adjudged as one of the ‘Most Outstanding Swimmer’ in the event.

It can be recalled that Azor excelled in swimming contests before this tournament such as the Ibalong Festival In Guinobatan, Albay and in the Jorge ‘ER’ Ejercito Cup in Sta Cruz, Laguna held in October and November, respectively this year.

Before he left for Thailand, Cadet Azor joined the National Swimming Competition on November 23 and 24, 2013 at the Rizal Memorial Stadium sponsored by the Philippine Swimming League (PSL) where he won two (2) gold medals – one in the 100-meter free style and another in the 100-meter backstroke. He was also awarded with a silver medal in the 100-meter breaststroke and in the 50-meter freestyle.

Midshipman Jifrey Azor (2nd from left) poses with his ‘adoring fans’ from among the MPCF school officials before he enplaned for Thailand to participate in the Southeast Asian swimming competition

With all these winnings, Azor has now qualified to join the swimming competition to be held in South Africa in 2014.

Meanwhile, Midshipman Romeo Galvez, Jr., a team-mate of Azor is showing his prowess in the swimming sports. He landed 7th place in the 100-meter breaststroke in the national competition in the event held at the Rizal Memorial Stadium. With more training, Galvez is expected to show a more excellent performance in this sport.

Midshipman Romeo Galve, Jr. showing his dexterity in swimming as a sport. He is expected to follow the footsteps of his team-mate Cadet Jifrey Azor.

“Talking of potentials, aside from Azor and Galvez, there are others who can be trained and can be converted into world-class athletes from among the students of Mariners”, says Coach Rowen Casaul who is in-charge of molding the amateur swimmers of the school to excel.

Swimming Coach Rowen “KC” Casaul (Extreme left), and MPCF swimmers (left to right) Jifrey Azor (in red shirt) , Mark Bermejo, Romeo Galvez, Jr. and Jay-Ar Almendral

“With the full support given by the school administration to these budding swimmers, it is not far-fetched that more of our students would find their mark in the level of excellence when it comes to swimming as a sport”, declared Sports Coordinator Ram Tolaram of Mariners-Camariner Sur.

Six Southeast Asian nations namely Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Brunie, Hong Kong and the Philippines participated in the swimming event.

The Royal Bangkok Sports Club in Thailand, the venue for the 2013 Invitational Swimming Championship

“The Mariners System community rejoices with pride in this new feat attained by JIFREY AZOR as this is inspiring to the students & school and to all the Bicolanos, as well”, declares Commodore Dante Jimenez, President of Mariners’ Polytechnic Colleges Foundation in Camarines Sur.

Tabang Mission: Eastern Samar touches the hearts of Samareños

The first rush of relief goods distribution in the municipality of BALANGKAYAN where 90% of the houses were totally destroyed by the storm surge brought by super typhoon Yolanda. Mission Task Group Director Dante La. Jimenez (in orange shirt) led the distribution of relief items to the victims

Borongan City, Eastern Samar – The Mariners System, composed of the Mariners schools in the Bicol Region & its sister companies in Metro Manila and together with other participating institutions launched the four-day operation ‘Tabang Mission: Eastern Samar’ from November 24 to 27, 2013. The endeavor brought a medical team and distributed relief goods to areas in in the province worst affected by super typhoon Yolanda.

The 157-contingent led by Task Group Director Commodore Dante La. Jimenez, President of Mariners Polytechnic Colleges Foundation (MPCF) Legaspi City, Albay and Canaman Camarines Sur and supported by the members of the Board of Trustees visited and distributed relief items and rendered medical services in the towns of Balangkayan, Quinapordan, Giporlos, Balangiga and Lawaan.

A courtesy call to Eastern Samar Governor Conrado Nicart, Jr (4th from left) at the Provincial Capitol in Borongan City. In the picture are UGOP Waraynon, Inc. President Judge Freddie Ampuan (3rd from left), Task Group Director Commodore Dante Jimenez (5th from left) Commodore Efren Rodriguez of PCGA-Bicol (4th from right) and volunteers from the Mariners System.

It can be recalled that these municipalities facing the Eastern seaboard of the province were equally hard-hit by Typhoon Yolanda with their share of casualties and destruction to properties and they need assistance just like the victims in Tacloban City and the neighboring towns of Leyte.

Mariners System partnered with other groups such as the Philippine Medical Association (PMA) Bulacan Chapter, the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Bulacan, Center for People Empowerment in Governance (CenPEG) of the University of the Philippines, Regina Shipping Lines (RSL), Maynilad Water, The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Bicol, Volunteer Against Crime and Corruption (VACC), Kalayag Foundation, UGOP Waraynon, Inc., PCGA-Bicol, LGU-Legazpi, and LGU-Allen, Northern Samar. There were generous individuals who contributed their resources for the Mission.

The home of the rich (left picture) and the poor (right picture); ALL were not spared from the wrath of super typhoon Yolanda in the municipality of BALANGIGA

‘Tabang Mission: Eastern Samar’ had a 20-vehicle convoy consisting of five (5) truckloads of relief items and medicine, four (4) water tankers which up to now still serve and deliver water in the storm-affected areas, three (3) ambulances, two (2) buses which transported the members of the medical team, one (1) gasoline tanker which provided fuel to the vehicles and five (5) private cars. Of the 157 volunteers, 100 came from the Philippine Medical Association & LGU Bulacan while 57 of the volunteers were from the Mariners System.

The administration, students, faculty and staff of Mariners Polytechnic Colleges Foundation (MPCF) in Legazpi City, Albay and in Canaman, Camarines Sur together with Mariners Polytechnic Colleges (MPC) in Naga City did their share in the effort by collecting and donating goods and repacking them to be ready for distribution before the group left for the Mission.

A mother cries while her baby is being treated by doctors at the medical mission as she recalls the ordeal she and her family had undergone at the height of the storm in QUINAPONDAN town

(Left picture) - The first house that caught the attention of the team in BALANGKAYAN town. Note the missing first floor and concrete walls after the posts collapsed which resulted to the tilting of the edifice after having been washed away by the storm surge. (Right picture) - A billboard along the road which clearly states a message: ‘BRGY GARAWON, HERNANI, EASTERN SAMAR – HELP!!

A post evaluation was conducted by the Team upon return and one of the points raised was to recommend to government the possible relocation of existing communities facing the coast of the Pacific Ocean which are vulnerable to storm surges to avoid casualties this magnitude whenever storms come to this part of the country. ###