Mariners hosts Federalism forum; BAM bats for democracy towards regional identity

The speakers at the Federalism Forum organized by the Bicol Autonomy Movement (BAM) and Centrist Democracy Political Institute (CDPI) in Legazpi City. (Left to right) Albay Provincial Convenor Benjie Santiago, BAM Regional Convenor Dante Jimenez and Centrist Democratic Party of the Philippines (CDP) President and Cagayan de Oro 2nd District Representative Rufus Rodriguez.

Legazpi City – The Mariners Polytechnic Colleges Foundation (MPCF), this city hosted the forum on Federalism, a project of the Bicol Autonomy Movement (BAM) in partnership with the Centrist Democracy Political Institute (CDPI). It was held on March 19, 2015 at the annex campus of Mariners Polytechnic Colleges Foundation.

BAM Regional Convenor Dante La. Jimenez who is President of MPCF-Legazpi and together with Congressman Rufus. B. Rodriguez, Representative of Second District of Cagayan de Oro City and President of the Centrist Democratic Party of the Philippines (CDP); and Lito Monico Lorenzana, CDPI President, were the leading speakers and resource persons in the forum.

CDPI is a non-government organization providing centrist democratic concepts and skills on good governance, promotes human dignity as the core value while it facilitates fundamental discussions towards the realization of Federalism in the Philippines.

With the theme ‘Democracy towards Regional Identity,’ the event ensued topics on ‘Charter Change and Electoral Reforms’ and ‘BAM’s Initiatives on Federalism’ which includes the promotion of the Bicol Autonomous Region Charter

(Left picture) Congressman Rufus Rodriguez expounds on the concept of Federalism as espoused by CDPI before the forum attendees. (Right picture, left to right) CDPI President Lito Monico Lorenzana, former Ako Bicol Partylist Representative Alfredo Garbin, Dante Jimenez, Rep. Rodriguez and BAM Albay Provincial Convenor Santiago.

All the speakers were one in supporting the Federalism issue now being raised by Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte in his nationwide sorties promoting this advocacy.

Representative Rodriguez in his address, made reference to the need for the next President of the country who is supportive of Federalism as an alternative to the present unitary Presidential form of government and the creation of a system which is less centralized in nature and empowered to embrace a more localized form of governance. He also expounded on the setting of Centrist democratic solutions for the problems of the country and gaining political power on national and local levels come elections in 2016.

BAM Regional Convenor Dante Jimenez gave emphasis on how Bicol can be benefited by the creation of a Regional Autonomous Government which is in line with the concept of Federalism.

CDPI President Lorenzana on the other hand introduced the Centrist Democracy principles and the rationale of Centrist Democratic Alliance. He shed light to a ‘Centrist Democratic Alliance’ (CDA) in Bicol, a new alliance recently forged by Centrist oriented movements and groups all over the Philippines with primary objectives of promoting the Centrist Democratic orientation in the Philippine society. This new alliance recently forged by Centrist oriented movements and groups all over the Philippines has the primary objectives of promoting the Centrist Democratic orientation in the Philippine society.

CDA is a growing alternative to traditional alliances and coalitions as it is thematic in approach designed to cater issues and interests of specific target-groups involved. BAM among others, was invited as the first local core group in the region. It covers the Bicol provinces of Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay, Catanduanes, Sorsogon and Masbate.

In this forum, BAM, CDPI and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte have found new allies when Bicolanos who attended the Forum manifested their overwhelming positive response to rally behind the spirit towards the creation of a Federal Form of Government in the Philippines. ###

Mariners celebrates 41st anniversary in Naga and Cam Sur;
bats for globally competitive education for Bicolanos

The celebration of the 41st Foundation Anniversary of MPCF-Camarines Sur and MPC-Naga presents healthy living via the Organiko Bicolano Expo Exhibit featuring organically-produced foodstuffs as one of the event’s highlights. ‘Healthy Lifestyle’ is encouraged not only for the members of the Mariners academic community but for everyone.

Canaman, Camarines Sur – The Mariners System in Naga City and Canaman, Camarines Sur celebrated its 41st Foundation Anniversary on March 4, 2015, amidst spectacle and colorful activities that started one day before the occasion.

In the forefront of the event was the tribute to the Founder, the late Commodore Jaime C. Jimenez whose vision for the establishment of a world-class maritime education institution is now becoming a reality. This is affirmed by the recent conferment by the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) and Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), in which Mariners is included in the twenty-three (23) Maritime Higher Education Institutions (MHEI) in the country’s positive list for the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA).

(Left picture) MPC-Naga Executive Vice President and MPCF Member of the Board of Trustees Dr. Gabriel L. Jimenez (2nd from left) and other school personnel offer flowers before the statue of the late Founder, Commodore Jaime C. Jimenez in ceremonies during the Foundation Anniversary. (Right picture) More flowers are slated to be offered at the Founder’s monument as MPCF officers and faculty members remain on stand-by while waiting for their turn.

(Right picture) MPCF President Dante La. Jimenez (extreme left) meets the Media on Anniversary Day and discusses the latest from MPCF and the school’s advocacies. He is joined by Mariners System’s Corporate Public Affairs Officer Elmer Abad (center in dark blue shirt) and Bicol Autonomy Movement Provincial Convenor for Camarines Norte - Luis San Ramon (3rd from right).

The beautiful innocent children together with their parents as they avail of the services offered at the Anniversary Foundation’s Medical Mission.

The occasion also honors the late Engr. Jaime ‘Boboy’ Jimenez, Jr., an officer of the school during its fledgling era, whose life had been devoted towards the strengthening of maritime education at MPCF.

Under the Mariners System, Mariners Polytechnic Colleges (MPC) in Naga City and Mariners Polytechnic Colleges Foundation (MPCF) in Canaman, Camarines Sur, through the years have achieved a level worthy of the original vision laid for the institution. At its inception in 1974, the Founder must have had in mind that the day will come when Bicolanos will be proud to be served by a maritime school with international caliber.

Recent developments show the institution is now beamed towards preparing graduates to be globally competitive. Whether they are taking-up land or sea-based courses, the trainings are embedded with provisions in line with international criterions that will qualify them to work in establishments, not only in the Philippines but in other parts of the globe, as well.

On-the-job trainings (OJT) in the United States and in some Asian countries are done by students taking-up land-based courses in Tourism, Hotel Restaurant Management (HRM) and Culinary Arts.

Those who opt for Maritime careers likewise do their apprenticeship with international shipping companies. Mariners continues to maintain linkages with these firms so graduates will have easy access to jobs after they finished their college degrees. The theme “Mariners, 41 Years of Quality Education For Globally Competitive Bicolanos” adopted for this year’s anniversary is appropriate. It gives the timely reminder for the men and women of the institution to measure-up to the expectation as indicated in the challenge while it conveys a positive message to the world that the school is continually adjusting to the needs of the changing times.

With the country joining the 2015 ASEAN Integration and the concept of ‘globalization’ continuing to envelop the world, Mariners positions itself to be in harmony and attuned to this trend.

As the Foundation Anniversary is celebrated, Mariners System had already taken concrete steps towards compliance with international standards in its course offerings.

To further strengthen its alignment with global drifts, the school has made operational the Grant by Elsevier Foundation - the electronics Library for Safe Seafaring (L4SS). Thru this facility, the academic community is able to access e-books with its connectivity to Libraries worldwide.

The highlights of the celebration include the Thanksgiving Mass, Traditional Lunch, the Conferment of Service and Merit Awards to deserving personnel, Torch Parade, Trade Fair, Organiko Exhibit, Car Show, Medical Mission, Basketball Friendly Games, Campus Tour for High School Students, Seafarers’ Family Day with OWWA, Field Demonstrations, Apostleship of the Sea Orientation Seminar, Employees Night and other related undertakings which created a fiesta atmosphere in the campuses.

“These activities point towards making the Foundation Anniversary, more significant, meaningful and more fun with Mariners gearing for the next years of service to the Bicolanos as the Region’s only Higher Maritime Education Institution (HMEI) accredited by CHEd, MARINA and the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) to offer Maritime degree courses. This development makes Mariners stronger as the men and women behind the institution become more confident, aggressive and inspired with this achievement”, said MPCF President Dante La. Jimenez.

Mariners is Bicol’s only top maritime school based on EMSA, CHED and MARINA audit

(Left picture) The building at the main campus of MPCF-Legazpi City. (Right picture) The left wing of the main building at MPCF-Camarines Sur. These are just among the infra-structure build-up at the two campuses of Mariners.

Metro Manila - Another milestone caps the achievement of the Mariners System.

The Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) and Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) announced on February 17, 2015 the Mariners Polytechnic Colleges Foundation (MPCF) in Legazpi City, Albay and in Canaman, Camarines Sur as among the country’s top 23 maritime schools. The two MPCF schools are in the positive list of Maritime Higher Education Institutions (MHEI) for the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA).

The announcement by CHEd, MARINA, and EMSA thus affirmed the MPCF as the only institution accredited to offer degree programs in maritime education in the Bicol Region today. The degree programs include Bachelor of Science in Maritime Transportation (BSMT) and Bachelor of Science in Marine Engineering (BSMarE).

Meanwhile, other schools in the region offering the same courses have been put under the status of ‘Undergoing Further Review’ or ‘Have Not Yet Expressed Interest to Offer the Enhanced Support Level Program (ESLP).

This also means that aside from the degree programs which will prepare future ship officers, MPCF can also provide trainings for those who will aspire to work in the rank-in-file level such as ‘Ratings’ and ‘Able Bodied Seamen’.

In 2014, CHEd and MARINA sent teams to conduct on-site evaluation of the MPCF-Legazpi and MPCF-Canaman campuses. Another group from EMSA conducted a more rigorous inspection and performance audit of the same campuses on the facilities, curriculum, qualification of instructors and the over-all system being followed by the two Mariners schools.

(Left picture) The newly-acquired fully-enclosed lifeboat being maneuvered by maritime cadets at the Training and Survival Swimming Pool at MPCF-Legazpi City. (Right picture) The lifeboat at MPCF-Camarines Sur as it is being lowered from the landship to start another training day for future Seafarers.

Previously, CHEd and MARINA had included MPCF Legazpi and Camarines Sur in the Alpha List of maritime colleges in the Philippines.

Aside from the state-of-the-art laboratories and other modern facilities the schools now have, Mariners also prides itself with the globally-connected electronics Library for Safe Seafaring (L4SS) now used by both students and instructors.

L4SS is an IT-based globally-connected library supported with a grant from the U.S. and Amsterdam-based Elsevier Foundation. This facility affords the Mariners academic community access to books and relevant information on safe seafaring and other materials via the electronics library with connectivity to maritime libraries all over the world.

“This development in which Mariners is being recognized by EMSA, CHED and MARINA is the best gift to the late Founder Commodore Jaime C. Jimenez and to Engr. Jaime L. Jimenez, Jr. whose lives had been devoted to the institution with their passion for excellence in offering maritime education to students”, said L4SS adviser and Member of the Board of Trustees Ms. Evita L. Jimenez.

“It is a welcome development that after 41 years of existence, EMSA, CHED and MARINA acknowledge what Mariners is now. This is a fitting tribute to the Founder as the fruits of his labor are being recognized now. This is also a validation of the quality education we deal to aspiring Seafarers” declared Board of Trustees member Merle J. San Pedro.

“As the head of the Institution, I look at this recognition given by EMSA, CHED and MARINA to Mariners as a great honor, a product of the team-effort of the men and women of MPCF, an achievement and a challenge at the same time; an honor and achievement because it places us in a pedestal where others are not and a challenge because we cannot just sit on our laurels. We have to sustain this triumph we have accomplished and continually improve in all aspects of our operation”, MPCF President Dante La. Jimenez concluded.