4th batch of Mariners’ Mission Tabang rolls to Tacloban

Volunteer-maritime cadets being briefed by Assistant Task Group Director PCGA LCDR Gereon B. Gregorio (left, back to camera) and MPCF-Legazpi HRD Chief Lydia Cervantes during the simple send-off ceremonies held at the school’s main campus.

Legazpi City, Albay – The fourth batch of Mission Tabang volunteers from the Mariners System left for Tacloban City in the morning of January 30, 2014 for a four-day undertaking to continue the clean-up, clearing operation and distribution of relief goods in which the National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP) has been designated as center of the activity.

Two groups simultaneously took-off for the mission, one from Mariners Polytechnic Colleges Foundation in Legazpi City and another from MPCF-Camarines Sur. The volunteers are composed of faculty, staff and Officers Training Corps/Coast Guard Auxiliary (OTC-CGA) cadets from both schools in Bicol.

A scene near Tacloban City taken during a previous Mission Tabang trip in which UGOP Waraynon President Judge Freddie Ampuan (left) and a volunteer from the Mariners System are dwarfed by a century-old fallen acacia tree. Note at the background the massive destruction on the coconut trees caused by Typhoon Yolanda which has taken-away the source of livelihood of many farmers in municipalities near the city.

The contingent from Legazpi is led by LCDR Gereon B. Gregorio as Task Group Assistant Director while the party from Camarines Sur is headed by MPCF OTC-CGA Commandant Captain Felix Bautista with President Dante La. Jimenez as Task Group Director of the mission.

The team brings with them additional relief items consisting of foodstuffs, clothing and other supplies which are deemed useful for the victims even two months after the super-storm, in addition to the continuing clean-up and clearing activity at NMP. “This mission is our own little way of helping the typhoon victims return to their normal way of life. While rehabilitation has become the focus both of government and the non-governmental organizations assisting in the ravaged-areas, still we see the need for these basic matters which could hasten their journey back to the life they had before”, said Mission Task Force Director Dante La. Jimenez.

The National Maritime Polytechnic has been made as one of the targets of the mission because of the magnitude of destruction it absorbed which resulted to the miserable condition of the school and the adverse effect it has brought to thousands of students of this institution.

The volunteer-cadets receiving last-minute instruction from Commandant Steven James Diño of the school’s OTC-CGA Unit prior to departure for Tacloban City.

“Under the spirit of Mission Tabang, the volunteers have signified their willingness to go with the task group. With this move, we expect that somehow, the students of NMP and those reached by the relief wares for distribution will experience a breathing spell in their struggle and continue to foster hope among themselves once they feel the concern of people coming from far-away places like the Marineros of Bicol who have come a long way to show they care”, Commodore Jimenez further declared.

MPCF Camarines Sur pushes for a pro-active approach to stop drugs and spread of HIV/AIDS

Canaman, Camarines Sur – Mariners Polytechnic Colleges Foundation (MPCF), this province has made a move to stop drug addiction and the spread of Human Immudeficiency Virus/Acquired Immudeficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) starting with the school’s maritime cadets.

A whole day forum on drug addiction and HIV/AIDS information was conducted at the school campus on January 24, 2014 and was attended by students as part of their continuing education, aside from the academic studies and trainings relevant to maritime studies which they get from the institution.

This was disclosed by PCGA Captain Felix Bautista, Commandant of the MPCF Coast Guard Auxiliary-Officer Training Corps (CGA-OTC) who said “This is one of the most important activities in the formative years of our midshipmen as we prepare them to become future seafarers.”

He cited the temptations confronting maritime workers once they go out and work whether in inter-island or international shipping firms.

“It is timely that this early, they are informed of the seriousness of the adverse effects brought about by drug addiction and worse, by the HIV/AIDS menace reported to be affecting maritime workers in different parts of the world ”, added Captain Bautista.

Among the invited speakers who are experts in their respective fields of endeavor are Dr. Maria Lourdes Anson, Officer-In-Charge of the Camarines Sur Treatment and Rehabilitation Center (CRTC) who discussed the topic on ‘Drug Addiction as a Disease’ and Dr. Baby Lovella Bazar on ‘The Program and Services of CSRTC and Treament Approaches for Drug Abuse and Addiction’.

In the afternoon, Regional Director Archie Grande of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Region V talked about the role his Office performs while Ms. Soledad Aquino focused on HIV/AIDS information.

“We have to reinforce the knowledge along this line and strengthen the moral fiber of our young trainees so that when they go out to work after graduation, they will not be counted as among the victims who ruined not only their careers but their lives, as well”, explained Captain Bautista.

Seminar participants, the MPCF maritime cadets listen to the message being conveyed by invited expert resource persons who talked about relevant matters on the topics ‘Drug Addition’ and the ‘Menace Brought About by the Spread of ‘HIV/AIDS’. The seminar aims to open the minds of the attendees on hindrances which could peril their dream to become successful maritime officers.

An open forum ensued after all the speakers have said their piece.

Meanwhile, parents of students are delighted upon learning of this move initiated by the school which gives attention to something which their children should not forget after graduation.

“This feedback affirms the school’s pro-active and holistic approach in training our students in order to better prepare them as the next generation of seafarers coming from Mariners”, Captain Bautista concluded.

Mariners Naga and Camarines Sur gear for joint 40th Foundation Anniversary celebration

Officers from the two Mariners schools (Naga City & Canaman, Camarines Sur) discuss the details of the forthcoming joint 40th year foundation anniversary celebration of the Institution in a meeting held at the boardroom of Mariners Training and Hotel Institute. Left to right EVP Dr. Gabriel L. Jimenez, OFA Head Maria Victoria Martinez, HRD Chief Hazel Palacio, Alumni Coordinator Ram Tolaram, MPC President Dr. Marilissa Ampuan, BSCA Department Head Harvy Osma, Corporate Public Affairs Officer Elmer Abad, Executive Assistant Eliezer Alipante and Media Relations Officer Jovan Galvo (back to camera).

Naga City – The Mariners Polytechnic Colleges/Foundation, this city and in Canaman Camarines Sur have started to prepare for a colorful joint four-day celebration of the Institution’s 40th Foundation Anniversary in the first week of March, 2014.

In a conference attended by Dr Marilissa J. Ampuan, President of Mariners Polytechnic Colleges (MPC) Naga and Executive Vice President Dr. Gabriel L. Jimenez as the meeting’s presiding officer and Chairman of the anniversary event, it was joined by department heads from the two schools who are members of various special committees.

A plan has been laid down on the simultaneous actions on the two campuses to be participated by the administration, faculty, staff, students and members of the alumni associations in order to make the celebration more meaningful and rewarding for the Mariners community as it observes its ‘ruby’ anniversary.

Included in the highlight of the affair is the Employees’ Night in which special awards will be given to personnel and members of the Alumni Association who achieved something for themselves and for the schools, which are worthy of recognition by the institution. A job fair will be conducted at the MPC-Naga campus and a testimonial dinner will be held at the Culinary Arts Center, MPCF Camarines Sur Campus.

MPC Naga Media Relations Officer Jovan Galvo (standing) explains to the committee members the details of the plan of activities for the commemoration of Mariners’ Ruby Foundation Anniversary.

Academic contests and exhibits featuring memorabilia of Mariners in its fledgling years will be featured during the occasion. A tribute to the Father of the Institution - Commodore Jaime C. Jimenez is embedded in the theme ‘Mariners for Bicolanos: 40 Years and Beyond’ as the academic community looks back with gratitude from the time this institution came into being when it was started by the Founder. The event will likewise showcase the humble beginnings of the Institution and the journey it has taken thru the years and finally, to what it is now.

The graduates of the schools will be honored via the Alumni Association which is being activated and strengthened to this moment. “The Mariners Polytechnic Colleges/Foundation and other institutions under the Mariners System have all the reasons to rejoice, to hope for the best for the coming years and to be thankful for all the blessings received in the past forty years of its existence. Looking back, we have gone a long way since its inception by the Founder in which we celebrate in his honor,“ said EVP Dr. Gabriel L. Jimenez who chairs the Foundation Anniversary activities. ###

ORES of MPC-Naga conducts community-based program, enhancing livelihood opportunities in barangays

MPC Naga’s Office of Research and Extension Services (ORES) personnel in action in Barangay Lipot, Milaor Camarines Sur during the community-based outreach program while interacting with the housewives and the youth who participated in the livelihood lectures and demonstrations. Left to right standing - Dr. Mariel Estrella, a barangay official (partly hidden), Professor Nilo Ponteros, Ms. Gladys Belmin and a housewife-participant (back to camera).

Naga City – The Office of Research and Extension Services (ORES) of Mariners Polytechnic Colleges (MPC), this city continues to set in motion its community-based program in selected barangays in the municipalities of Milaor and Camaligan, Camarines Sur thru activities conducted within the last quarter of 2013.

In an effort to register an impact and to contribute to the improvement of the living condition of the barangay folks, a team headed by MPC-Naga ORES chief Dr. Mariel Estrella visited two nearby villages and targeted them for a series of lectures and demonstrations on how to produce quality foodstuffs which are in demand.

“Small and simple but doable projects such as what the school introduces could mean a lot to the barangay-folks in terms of new opportunities which could help them in their livelihood”, said ORES Researcher Gladys Belmin.

With the increasing requirement for ‘tocino’ and ‘longanisa’ and other similar products in nearby places including Naga City, the school decided to send an HRM team which conducted a series of instructions. The pool of mentors from the school’s Hotel and Restaurant Management (HRM) Department was led by faculty member Ms. Emy Barbara.

The community-based program was carried-out in Bgy. Lipot, Milaor, Camarines Sur on November 25, 2013 while another similar activity was done in Barangay Loob, Gainza, Camarines Sur on December 7, 2013.

ORES personnel of Mariners-Naga happily work on the plans for the activity as they calendar the moves prior to the outreach action in two barangays in Camarines Sur

Other members of the team included Ms. Gladys Belmin and Professor Leonilo Ponteros. The target beneficiaries were the housewives and the youth in the barangays.

Meanwhile, the school does not stop with these recently concluded outreach projects.

“MPC-Naga is slated to conduct tree-planting projects in the first week of February and in the month of March, 2014 in Cagsao, Calabanga, Camarines Sur. It will be an activity in which NSTP students will plant again ‘bakawan’ to further reinforce the mangrove trees planted a year ago by our students”, said Professor Ponteros, the school NSTP coordinator.

“Mariners Naga has always been in the forefront in community projects like these and we will continue our presence to be felt in the barangays where we can share skills via the pool of manpower and resources we have, cognizant of our corporate social responsibility so the school can be an instrument in making our barangay-folks more productive”, shared Dr. Marilissa J. Ampuan, President of Mariners Polytechnic Colleges in Naga City.

Misuga Kaiun and Maine Marine shipping officials visit MPCF-Camarines Sur

Visiting Misuga Kaiun Ltd. shipping executives were honored in a dinner-program by school officials . (Left to right – MPCF’s VPA Napoleon Mangente, VPAA Marian Lazaro, guests Ms. Erie Nobori and Ms. Ayaka Ueno, President Dante Jimenez, Mr. Kenzo Minagawa, Engr. Leo Fajardo, and HRD chief Dr. Edgar Despi).

Canaman, Camarines Sur – Top officials of Misuga Kaiun/Maine Marine shipping company in the Philippines visited the campus of Mariners Polytechnic Colleges Foundation (MPCF) this province on January 8, 2014.

The delegation was led by newly-promoted General Manager Kenzo Minagawa of Misuga Kaiun Ltd. Philippine branch and accompanied by two lady executives from the firm’s Crewing Department - Ms. Ayaka Ueno and Ms. Erie Nobori, who came direct from Japan to have a glimpse of their company’s operation in the Philippines.

One of the reasons for the visit was to personally see the facilities of the school and to be able to interact with the scholars which the firm supports.

It can be recalled that Mr. Kenzo Minagawa was based at MPCF Camarines Sur for the past four years and did a hands-on supervision of the Misuga-supported cadets prior to his promotion and occupation of the top post of the company’s country office in Metro Manila.

In his message to the cadets during the dinner-program, Mr. Minagawa has placed high hopes for the present crop of MPCF midshipmen who are enrolled and undergoing training in the school.

(Right Photo) Cadets under the Misuga scholarship program together with instructors on maritime studies listen to the message of Mr. Kenzo Minagawa at the dinner-program honoring the Japanese guests.

“I am pleased on how the cadets perform in their studies and training under the meticulous tutorship of professional instructors and using the upgraded facilities of Mariners”, declared Mr. Minagawa.

On the other hand, the two Crewing executives conveyed to the cadets to make good in their studies and training as the jobs that await them at the Japanese shipping firm would require the best of what they will learn from school.

“With the prevailing reality, we do not accept seafarers whose level of training is below par as they have to measure-up to the expected quality performance which conforms with world maritime standards”, said Ms. Ayaka Ueno.

Meantime, MPCF President Dante La. Jimenez welcomed the Japanese shipping officials at the dinner-program graced by the scholars, faculty and staff held at the Misuga-sponsored Culinary Arts Center facilities in the campus which was built and is being used now to train future maritime chefs.

The President of the school said, “I believe that the partnership between Misuga and Mariners will continue as it has been strengthened through the years. It has resulted to a perfect blend in which deserving students are offered hope as they cling-on to the scholarship offered to them with Mariners as the conduit”.

“The school and the shipping company continue to register impact on MPCF graduates insofar as improving the economic living standard of the seafarers’ families is concerned”, MPCF President Dante La. Jimenez concluded in his address to the cadets and to the Japanese guests. ###

Graduates from MPCF-Legazpi hurdle PRC’s Marine Engine Officers board exam

(From left)
OIC Magas Joeven, OIC Estuye, Laymer Blamcha, and OIC Domasig, Ronnel Carlos

Legazpi City, Albay – The Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) has announced the recent board passers from Mariners Polytechnic Colleges Foundation (MPCF), this city who took the Marine Engine Officers (OIC – Engineering Watch) examination given in the last quarter of 2013.

College Registrar Norma M. Villanueva confirmed the following alumni who took and hurdled said examination: OIC Ronnel Caralos Domasig of Gogon, Prieto Diaz, Sorsogon, OIC Laymer Blamcha Estuye of Bgy. 42, Purok 5, Narra St., Rawis, Legazpi City and Joeven Bonavente Magas of P-1, Boñgabong, Tabaco City.

“The trend in which board passers who are graduates of MPCF continue to be included in the list released by PRC is an indicator of the kind of maritime education the school offers”, said College Registrar Villanueva.

Meanwhile, the lists provided by the Professional Regulation Commission which mentions the names of school alumni as among those who pass the tests continue to provide inspiration to aspiring cadets enrolled now and dream that someday, they will be among the successful seafarers which the school and their parents will be proud of.

“As of today, Mariners has a long list of graduates who are doing good in their careers in which their being seafarers have made an impact in the radical transformation of their respective family’s economic status”, Ms. Villanueva disclosed.

On the side of the school administration, it has vowed to continue the tradition of excellence which the school has started. “What the Mariners school is now has to be sustained. It is the result of the existing teamwork which the parents, students, faculty, staff and administration nurture in order to continue producing quality graduates who are badly needed by the industry not only in the country but in the international maritime arena”, declared Commodore Dante La. Jimenez – President of MPCF Legazpi. ###

Mariners System forms core group to make operational Project L4SS of Elsevier Foundation

The members of the core group tasked to make operational the project of ELSEVIER Foundation and MARINERS - the ‘Library for Safe Seafaring (L4SS) in a meeting and briefing with MPCF Camarines Sur Chair Evita L. Jimenez (5th from right), and other members of the team (right to left) VPAA Marian Lazaro, Dean of Maritime Studies Manuel U. Olivan, HRD head Dr. Edgar Despi, EVP and L4SS Project Director Merle J. San Pedro and the rest in the support staff of the project.

Canaman, Camarines Sur – The administration has formed the Core Group which is tasked to implement the establishment and operation of the Library for Safe Seafaring (L4SS) which will be based at the Mariners Polytechnic Colleges Foundation (MPCF), this province.

The establishment of this modern library is the result of the selection process conducted by the Amsterdam-based ELSEVIER Foundation in which Mariners has been adjudged to be the sole recipient of the grant in the entire Southeast Asian region. The grant aims to develop a globally connected LIBRARY 4 SAFE SEAFARING (L4SS) Infrastructure for local maritime schools in the Philippines to enhance education and training of competent and safety conscious seafarers.

L4SS hopes to convert the MPCF library as a modern learning cum advocacy facility and develop it as a reliable source of knowledge on the latest maritime trends, relevant references, teaching tools and learning materials promoting quality maritime education and training with emphasis on safe seafaring. It also hopes to develop a technologically equipped and globally connected library, a modern library that is manned by a staff trained to use modern technology for library development and develop its easy access to main users – the students and faculty.

In a recent development, MPCF Camarines Sur Chairperson Evita L. Jimenez announced in a meeting held on January 11, 2014 the appointment of Executive Vice President Merle J. San Pedro as Project Director and to be ably supported by select officers and department heads of the school.

Included in the team to spearhead the move to put into operation the project are Vice President for Academic Affairs Marian Lazaro, HRD chief Dr. Edgar Despi, Dean of Maritme Studies Manuel U. Olivan, Office of Research and Extension Services (ORES) head Eden Arenas, Office of Financial Affairs O.I.C. Jenara Delfino, Alumni Coordinator Ramchand Tolaram, Website Administrator Anne Beatrice Madarang, the school Librarian and Mariners System’s Corporate Public Affairs Officer (CPAO) Elmer S. Abad.

Also included to support the Core Group are the respective Media Relations Officers (MRO’s) of the three Mariners schools in Bicol namely VPA Napoleon Mangente of MPCF Camarines Sur, Mr. Jovan Galvo of MPC Naga and Captain Steven James Diño of MPCF Legazpi.

The project is expected to revolutionize the library services offered by the school more so that the focus of the Grant is for safe seafaring of seamen who will be manning domestic and international sea vessels in the near future. ###

Marlow Navigation country chief confirms continuing tie-up with MPCF

Legazpi City, Albay – Marlow Navigation, one of the biggest European shipping companies with offices in the Philippine has renewed its partnership with Mariners Polytechnic Colleges Foundation (MPCF), this province assuring the continuing tie-up of the two institutions in which the former offers scholarship to deserving students taking up maritime courses.

Captain Leopoldo C. Tenorio, head of operation of the shipping company in the country paid a visit to the school on the 4th quarter of 2013 and signed the partnership agreement with MPCF President Commodore Dante La. Jimenez in fitting ceremonies held at the school’s annex campus.

Top Marlow Navigation country official Captain Leopoldo C. Tenorio (center) and MPCF Legazpi President Dante La. Jimenez sign the agreement on continuing tie-up of the European shipping company with the Mariners school in fitting ceremonies held at the school’s annex campus.

In attendance during the event were the MPCF cadet-scholars of Marlow Navigation, their parents and school officials. In his address to the cadets and parents, Captain Tenorio challenged them to take advantage of opportunities such as the scholarship given by his company and the education which MPCF offers.

“It’s a matter of giving value to the ambition which every cadet wants to reach. What is important here is that every future seafarer has undergone a thorough preparation before he finishes the course and Marlow Navigation thrusts Mariners as an institution which delivers quality graduates”, said Captain Tenorio.

MPCF Cadet-scholars (Back row in uniform) together with their parents and school officials as they pose with Captain Tenorio and MPCF President Jimenez for a souvenir picture.

“The job for seafarers awaits those who will graduate from this school. I can see the endeavor being done by this institution to give quality education to its students and that is why Marlow Navigation continues to involve itself in a joint venture with Mariners”, Captain Tenorio added.

Meanwhile the school leadership has acknowledged the trust and confidence expressed by the top honcho of the shipping company in the country.

“Inasmuch as the players in the maritime industry both in the Philippines and in the international arena have placed their belief in what our school can do, we accept the challenge to continue to produce seafarers of world-class caliber. After all, all our efforts now are geared towards what the concept of ‘globalization’ calls for on what the neo-seafarers of the world should be”, MPCF President Dante La. Jimenez concluded.

Mission TABANG organizers, Norwegians honored in UP welcome dinner

PAEP at welcome dinner Dec 3 2013
UP President Alfredo E. Pascual expressed his appreciation to organizers of the Mission TABANG (Mission HELP), the Royal Norwegian Embassy and the Norwegian Training Center (NTC) for their support in shipping relief goods for the university’s constituents and other affected residents in Tacloban City and Palo, Leyte who were displaced by the Nov. 8 super typhoon Yolanda. Effective maritime response was given due recognition.

On behalf of Tulong UP, the UP President’s appreciation was made during a welcome dinner for the UP Leyte students and faculty on Dec. 3, 2013 held at the Executive House in the Diliman campus.


Mission TABANG in cooperation with the Norwegian institutions, assisted in shipping the UP relief goods along with other donations collected by the Mission, last Nov. 23. The goods, weighing 1,300 tons in all, were shipped by the NTC training ship T/S Kapitan Felix Oca from the South Harbor, Manila which reached its destination in Tacloban after four days of sailing under heavy rains and choppy waters via Palawan. (The Norwegian Embassy and NTC were among the first to send emergency relief packs to the Yolanda victims immediately after the super typhoon struck Visayas.)

Norwegian training ship T/S Kapitan Felix Oca delivered relief goods for UP Tacloban on Nov. 23-25, 2013.

Accepting the appreciation were Mr. Geir Thorseng, maritime adviser of the Norwegian Embassy, and Capt. Joeven Noestvik, deputy director of NTC-M and captain of T/S Kapitan Felix Oca; and to Ms Evita Jimenez of Mariners and also of CenPEG, Judge Freddie Ampuan of UGOP Waraynon, Ms Merle San Pedro and Ms Nimpa Jimenez, EVP and VP for External Affairs of the Mariners System respectively, organizers of Mission TABANG.

President Pascual also honoured Mr. Flor de Pano, a businessman and UP alumnus, for donating PhP250,000 for relief efforts for UP Tacloban particularly the displaced students. Received by the UP Foundation, the cash donation was facilitated by the Center for People Empowerment in Governance (CenPEG).

Present at the welcome dinner were Mrs. Menchu Pascual, wife of the UP President, UP Vice President Maragtas Amante, Prof. Bobby Tuazon of CenPEG and other officers of Ugop Waraynon . In addition were UP Vice President Prospero de Vera, UP Diliman Chancellor Caesar A. Saloma, VCCA Melania L. Abad, and VCSA Ma. Corazon J. Tan.

WITH PAEP: UP President Pascual with (L-R) Merle J. San Pedro and Nimpa Jimenez of Mariners System; Geir Thorseng of Royal Norwegian Embassy; Evita Jimenez of Mission Tabang; Dr. Guy Estrada Claudio of UP; Capt. Joeven Noestvik of NTC; Rho Clemente; Dr. Ed Clemente and Bobby Tuazon, both of CenPEG.

Earlier, President Pascual issued a Memorandum advising all UP colleges and units to coordinate immediate transport of relief donations with Mission TABANG organizers through Tulong UP led by Prof. Lourdes Portus of the office of the President.

A separate relief expedition was also launched by Mission TABANG led by Mariners in Bicol for the Yolanda victims using the Legazpi City-Matnog, Sorsogon route and thence to Samar and Leyte via the RSL Roro vessel. The relief mission was in cooperation with LGU partners, the Philippine Medical Association, and other organizations with the assistance of the Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary (PCGA) and the Maritime Authority (MARINA). Two more successive missions led by Commodore Dante L. Jimenez, president of Mariners in Bicol were organized during the holiday last December to Samar and Leyte for clean-up and additional relief. #

University of the Philippines awards Mariners System for involvement in Mission Tabang for Yolanda victims

Mission Tabang Director Commodore Dante Jimenez (5th from left) pays a courtesy call to Eastern Samar Governor Conrado Nicart, Jr. (4th from left) at the Provincial Capitol in Borongan City. Others in the picture are UGOP Waraynon Inc. President Judge Freddie Ampuan (3rd from left), Commodore Efren Rodriguez (6th from left) of PCGA-Bicol and volunteers from the Mariners System in Bicol.

Quezon City – The University of the Philippines in Diliman, this city has awarded the Mariners System a Certificate of Appreciation for its participation in several relief and medical mission operations in the supertyphoon-ravaged areas of Eastern Samar and Leyte provinces.

In a message relayed by Board of Trustees member and Mariners Polytechnic Colleges Foundation (MPCF) Camarines Sur Chair Evita Jimenez, the award was given by U.P. President Alfredo E. Pascual on December 18, 2013 at the university campus which she herself received for and in behalf of Mariners.

Part of what is written in the award reads “ The University of the Philippines presents this Certificate of Appreciation to Mariners System for its compassion and unselfish show of concern to the victims of Supertyphoon Yolanda, for its efforts to arrange for a ship for the transport of relief goods to the victims, and for its efficient coordination with both government and non-government organizations to facilitate the distribution and delivery of relief assistance to the typhoon victims”.

It can be recalled that aside from the relief items transported via land, Mariners System was able to arrange the movement of goods by coordinating with other maritime institutions. MPCF President Commodore Dante La. Jimenez was Mission Director of the relief operation.

The volunteers from the medical team and Mariners System board the RORO ship at the port of Matnog, Sorsogon enroute to Port Allen in Northern Samar. At the foreground are the 20-vehicle convoy of relief goods and medicine and the buses that transported the volunteers already loaded inside the sea vessel.

Certificate of Award from the University of the Philippines.

The Mission Tabang operation in the towns of Eastern Samar And Tacloban City were done thru the cooperative effort of several government and non-government organizations in which the Mariners System, composed of the Mariners schools in Bicol and its affiliate institutions in Metro Manila played a major role.

Aside from the procurement of relief goods, the coordination with the different organizations in forming a mission team, the procurement of sea vessels in ferrying relief items and the volunteers, Mariners System also sent manpower-volunteers from its schools in Naga City, Legazpi City and from Camarines Sur.

“This award given by the University of the Philippines inspires the men and women of Mariners as an institution. It brings encouragement to our colleagues to act and do what they can in situations similar to what happened in Eastern Visayas when typhoon Yolanda struck with its fury leaving unimaginable havoc to the lives and properties of the people the area”, said MPCF President Jimenez upon knowing that U.P. has recognized the efforts exerted by the Mariners System. ###

Mariners System honors CHED Regional Director in testimonial ceremony

Regional Director Freddie Bernal of CHED addresses the officials and personnel of Mariners System at the
Testimonial Ceremony held in his honor

Legazpi City, Albay – The Mariners System honored Dr. Freddie T. Bernal, Regional Direrctor of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) of Bicol in a Testimonial Ceremony on January 9, 2014 held at the Mariners’ Annex campus, Bgy. Rawis this city. The occasion was held as a fitting recognition of the accomplishments the official has attained in his stewardship of the agency in Region V.

After four years of service in the region, Dr. Bernal will be transferred to Region VIII, with its center of regional operation located in Cebu City.

The outgoing official has initiated reforms at CHED, foremost of which is the accessibility of the agency and its personnel to its clientele and the general public. His being innovative has earned him the mark of a worthy public servant respected by his peers and the people he serves. In his address, Dr. Bernal commended Mariners Polytechnic Colleges Foundation (MPCF) for what it is now especially on the quality of education it gives to its students.

“As a maritime school, Mariners has carved a name for itself by producing quality graduates. It has spelled clearly its impact on Bicolanos by producing seafarers who are able to turn-around the economic status of their respective families thereby bringing dignity to the lives of their loved-ones”, said Dr. Bernal.

“SARONG MARINERO SA CADA FAMILIANG BICOLANO is a fitting slogan of Mariners as it speaks of giving hope to an ordinary Bicolano family which implies that should one become a seafarer, the rest of the relative’s financial needs could be taken-cared of’, the CHED official added.

The honoree receives the Mariners System’ Plaque of Appreciation presented by
MPCF President Dante La. Jimenez and witnessed by the Deans and Department Heads of the school

As acknowledgement of the message which the official delivered at the occasion, MPCF President Dante La. Jimenez has enumerated the many good things which the Regional Director has done in the sector of Higher Education in the region. He thanked the official for addressing the many concerns of the Mariners schools in Bicol.

“The occasion we are having now is timely to honor a public servant who performs his best as public servant. Under his leadership, CHED has made its mark when it comes to serving the people more so that its being efficient has an impact on the education of the youth of Bicolandia. CHED today with Dr. Bernal’s stewardship has gained the respect of the academe as well as by Bicolanos”, declared President Jimenez.

“The Mariners community wishes Dr. Bernal well as he transfers to Cebu for his new assignment”, Commodore Jimenez added. ###

MPCF Camarines Sur signs agreement with Elsevier Foundation on establishment of modern library on safe seafaring

Officials of MPCF Camarines Sur (Seated left to right – President Dante La. Jimenez, Merle J. San Pedro, EVP and Project Officer, Evita L. Jimenez, Board of Trustees Chairperson. Standing left to right – Nimfa V. Jimenez, Board member and VP for External Affairs, Dr. Marilissa J. Ampuan, Board Member and MPC Naga President and Dr. Edgar Despi, Office of Research and Extension Services and HRD) Director during the signing of the agreement with ELSEVIER Foundation on the project Library for Safe Seafaring of L4SS on December 23, 2013. The joint venture aims to transform the existing library of MPCF into a modern library updated with relevant maritime publications and internet-linked computers that will serve as a continuing learning facility promoting maritime safety for MPCF students, faculty and seafarers working around the world.

Canaman, Camarines Sur – The administration of Mariners Polytechnic Colleges Foundation (MPCF), this province signed an agreement on December 23, 2013 with the Amsterdam-based Elsevier Foundation on the establishment of a modern library using state-of-the-art technology which will help maritime students in their quest for knowledge as it will offer a learning facility which will promote awareness and increased competence for maritime safety.

Present during the signing held at the MPCF Camarines Sur boardroom were representatives of the school administration led by Board of Trustees Chairperson Evita L. Jimenez, President Dante La. Jimenez, Executive Vice President Merle J. San Pedro who is Project Director of the ‘Library for Safe Seafaring’ (L4SS), Vice President for Student and External Affairs Nimfa V. Jimenez, Board of Trustees member Dr. Marilissa J. Ampuan and President of MPC Naga and Office of Research and Extension Services (ORES) and Human Resource Department Director Dr. Edgar Despi.

The Mariners school has been selected to be a recipient of this grant based on the study that Filipinos especially those from coastal communities are naturally resilient to the life at sea. One of the leading maritime institutions in the Philippines is the Mariners Polytechnic Colleges Foundation (MPCF) located in one of the country’s poorest coastal regions, Bicol. ISO-9001- MPCF belongs to the country’s top performing maritime schools. Its students and faculty assist the Philippine Coast Guard in rescue/retrieval operations and have been recognized as dependable ship crew even during maritime disasters.

Most Filipino seafarers come from poor families and maritime institutions which need enhancement when it comes to modern learning tools including libraries. The recent audit of the European Maritime Safety Administration validated this finding. EMSA noted areas which need to be improved especially on the country’s maritime training and education as well as the betterment of the system in the state’s monitoring of safe ships and preparedness for future seafarers. These have a great impact on global shipping and the maritime industry.

At MPCF, it will be pioneered that as a maritime school, students’ learning will be boosted by well-equipped library with staff that will be provided with improved training in library management especially with the use of advanced technology to facilitate learning.

Through the MPCF, the LIBRARY FOR SAFE SEAFARING or L4SS project is being proposed. L4SS seeks to develop the MPCF library as a modern learning cum advocacy facility, a reliable source of knowledge on the latest maritime trends, relevant references, teaching tools and learning materials that are accessible to its main users; and technologically equipped, globally connected and manned by a staff trained to use modern technology for library development to promote quality maritime education and training with emphasis on safe seafaring. Technology development is a key requirement in the project considering that while Filipinos rank among the world’s top technology users, their schools lack the necessary formal tools. The intended transformation of the library will serve as a model for other institutions.

The Library for Safe Seafaring (L4SS) Project
The project aims to enhance the library of MPCF into a modern maritime annals updated with relevant maritime publications and internet-linked computers that will serve as a continuing learning facility easily accessible by its main users – the students - and even long after graduation when they already onboard ocean-going vessels. It is called the Library for Safe Seafaring or L4SS because while covering a wide range of categories under technology, science, health and issues of family, society and culture, the information and learning materials will particularly focus on promoting awareness, aiding learning and building capacity on maritime safety.

The project’s over-all goal, however, is not only to have a modern and updated library; it is also an advocacy learning facility to promote awareness and increased competence for maritime safety. For aside from the usual type of disasters, most telling now is the increasing danger or threat of other high-risk incidents at sea like piracy, sea lane conflicts and human/drug trafficking as well as psychological, health and physical dangers on seas for which today’s seafarers must be prepared too.

Related to this goal is for L4SS to be the major stockroom of updated maritime and related multi-disciplinary materials inside the campus where students, faculty and researchers have easy access for learning and research. L4SS will thus have its own organized micro site embedded in the school’s main website that opens to a portal for accessing titles, learning aids like slideshows, documentations, memos, multimedia videos and clips, books (digital and hard copies), manuals, geographic maps and other multimedia learning materials falling under the various categories to help guide teaching and learning according to current international standards as provided for in the new guidelines of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

Under science and technology category are topics of Mathematics, Physics, Marine Engineering, Navigation, Merchant Marine, Naval Architecture, Seamanship, and Nautical Knowledge, among others. Under health are topics of Medical/First Aid, Nutrition, Hygiene, Psychosocial Well-being, HIV-AIDS and other most common diseases among seafarers. Issues of society and culture include topics like Gender Sensitivity, Family, Depression and Mental Health, Multiculturalism, Discrimination, Conflict Management, Labor Rights, Crew Well-Being, Air Pollution, Anti-Piracy, Human Trafficking, and Illegal Drugs Trafficking, among others.

To help enhance learning, additional goal is the propagation of the culture of the 3 Rs (reading, rithmetic [arithmetic] and research) considered as weak learning spots among many maritime students starting with the present crop of 2,200 students, 110 faculty and training staff of MPCF and another 2,500 students, 180 faculty and training staff of MPCF Camarines Sur’s sister school in Legaspi City.

To be installed in the library are 20 state-of-the art desktops programmed at high speed with unlimited access/data for internet research and easy access by the users to the library materials and the global maritime community including the agencies involved in the enforcement and monitoring of international safety standards. This way, L4SS continually keeps abreast of the trends and developments in the maritime community around the world. A competent staff of five (5) oriented and trained with advanced skills to manage the globally-connected library programmed by experts for easy navigation by its key users is developed to ensure quality library service. The staff will be ably aided by the school’s Technical group guided by an IT expert that provides the technological support for the project’s newfound services.

Establishing links with international learning resource centers (e.g. libraries) is enhanced like the library of the California Maritime Academy or Cal Maritime in California, USA where there are many strong Filipino communities. More linkages with other service-oriented websites that cater to health, family and social life concerns, for example, would similarly be established like the present linkages with networks attending to spiritual well-being and mental health. MPCF tracer studies and other researches show the institutional need like psycho-social intervention programs to address physical and mental health problems like depression, disorientation, exposure, and coping with sexually-transmitted diseases as well as nutrition, family disintegration because of long absence of a spouse while overseas, among others.

To gauge the impact of and continually improve L4SS service, survey –both online and face-to-face - is conducted among its users. As more users in the community participate and gain benefits from accessing and using the L4SS, a website called shall be set to motion to serve as a regulated forum for various practical experiences of seafarers –both Filipino and foreigner- beginning with the MPCF seafarers in dealing with actual disasters – natural or man-made type - while onboard their vessels. It will be effectively linked to the L4SS. In the world of information of technology, the goal is for the website to be popular among the users in the light of growing demand for maritime safety awareness with its news, human interest stories, letters, and advisories aside from quick links to official international conventions, rules, agreements on quality standards on safety and rights for their immediate references.

Another related goal is to make L4SS service still available to graduates onboard ocean-going vessels either as officers or crew by way of continued access to the library as a form of distance study learning at easy cost. Graduates onboard ships continue to avail of the L4SS facility and service being members of the MPCF alumni. In addition, they also automatically get to participate in sharing their experiences as ship crew with the website. The MPCF Alumni will be encouraged to launch a “Donate a Book a Year for L4SS,” to help sustain the quality of learning materials with the fast-paced developments around the globe. This way, all graduates continue to be part of the growing safety conscious maritime community from the MPCF. This website therefore gives added value to the project.

The end goal for the L4SS project is to institutionalize the use of the upgraded library as a valuable learning facility for quality education and training at the MPCF to produce more safety-conscious and trained seafarers –licensed officers and crew-- compliant with international quality standards on maritime safety. With MPCF as a leading institution among 80 other members of the Philippine Association of Maritime Institutions (PAMI) and the Philippine Association of Maritime Training Centers (PAMTCI) in the country, the success of L4SS will inspire other schools to follow or join the model. The successful implementation of the project will contribute positively in addressing the adverse impact of the findings of the EMSA audit on maritime education and training in the country relative to the demands of the international seafaring industry and the significant improvement of learning for maritime safety. ###

MPCF’s Jifrey Azor qualifies in South Africa’s February 2014 swimming competition

Philippine Swimming League president Susan Papa (center in black shirt) poses with Midshipman Jifrey Azor (extreme right, standing) and PSL participants in Cape Town, South Africa. The swimmers, who showed outstanding performance in last month’s Bangkok international age group competitions, are Claire Adorna, Emmanuel Joshua Lorbes, Yuri Ilustre, Mctracy Alindogan, Lans Donato, Joy Rodgers, Angela Sophia Villamil and MPCF’s Jifrey Azor.

Metro Manila – President Susan Papa of the Philippine Swimming League (PSL) has confirmed that Mariners Polytechnic Colleges Foundation (MPCF) Camarines Sur’s swimming star Midshipman Jifrey Azor is among the eighteen (18) outstanding Filipino swimmers given accreditation, with him having met the qualifying standards for the 2014 Western Province Aquatics (WPA) Swimming Gala to be held at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) Aquatics Center in Cape Town, South Africa on Feb. 8-9, 2014.

In separate messages received from MPCF Camarines Sur Chairperson Evita Jimenez and President Dante La. Jimenez, the two officials released the information on the PSL statement that the swimmers had been selected based on their performances in the 51st PSL Series held at the Diliman Preparatory School (DPS) swimming pool in Quezon City and at the Bangkok Invitational Swimming meet in the 4th quarter of 2013.

Midshipman Jifrey Azor (5th from right) with fellow Filipino swimmers in a huddle with girls from the Hong Kong swimming team in Bangkok, Thailand

The Philippine Swimming League is the national sports association for swimming of the Federation of School Sports Associations of the Philippines and is the longest running swimming grassroots program in the country today.

Aside from Azor who represents the category for ‘boys 17 years-old and over’, the Philippine delegation to South Africa this February 2014 include Ma. Claire Adorna (girls’ 17 years and over), Ma. Paula Angela Villamil (girls 13 years), McTracy Alindogan (boys’ 13 years), Emanuel Joshua Lorbes (boys’ 16 years), Yuri Ilustre (boys’ 14 years), Micaela Jasmine Mojdeh (girls’ 7 years), Kyla Soguilon (girls’ 9 years), Charize Esmero (girls’ 11 years), Imee Joyce Saavedra (girls’ 12 years), Seth Isaak Martin (boys’ 11 years), Jordan Lobos (boys’ 10 years), Jerard Jacinto (boys’ 12 years), JC Doragos (boys’ 15 years), Chloe Fabic (girls’ 10 years), Paula Cayanan (girls’ 14 years), Kyle Mendoza (girls’ 15 years) and Mary Angelic Saavedra (girls’ 16 years).

“We’re aiming to win medals and we’re looking forward to see the Filipino community in South Africa cheer for us and boost the confidence of our young swimmers,” said PSL chief Susan Papa.

Meanwhile, Commodore Dante La. Jimenez of MPCF Camarines Sur has expressed optimism on this development and he believes in Azor’s ability in this line of sport as the athlete embarks in another international swimming event. “He can make it!”, President Jimenez declared.