NMP offers new courses to seafarers on what to do in abduction, hostage taking situations
TACLOBAN CITY—The National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP) based here said it is offering a new course that will train all departing seafarers required to undergo defense training against sea pirates before boarding foreign sea vessels.
Grace Marie Ayaso, officer-in-charge executive director, said in a statement that the anti-piracy course for seafarers was designed in response to a Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) memorandum circular requiring all departing seafarers to undergo a mandatory anti-piracy awareness training.
“The course covers basically the topics on the code of conduct concerning the repression of piracy and armed robbery against ships in the Western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden adopted on January 29, 2009 and the best management practices to deter piracy off the coast of Somalia and in the Arabian Sea area,” Ayaso said.
Ayaso added the training is now among the requirements of POEA for the issuance of overseas employment certificate (OEC) for the Filipino seafarers preparing for deployment abroad.
“Seamen will also be taught on how to evade abduction and how to survive when held hostage. The training will also be aligned with the module set by the International Association of Independent Tankers Owners, which operates about 80% of the world’s tankers,” Ayaso said.
Ayaso added the training is timely and necessary since piracy has come to alarming proportion with Filipino seafarers being abducted not only in Somalia but even in Tanzania, Indian Ocean and Seychelles.
It was learned that local manning agencies have agreed to shoulder the cost of training and companies that will not comply with the requirement or will pass the cost to seafarers will face sanction.
The government and manning agencies have also agreed to provide psychosocial counseling and support services to seafarers who were victims of abduction as well as their families.
Aside from the mandatory anti-piracy training, NMP also offers three new courses which include Consolidated MARPOL 73/78 Annexes I-VI, MARPOL 73/78 Annexes III, IV & V, and Safety Training for Boat Captain and Marine Diesel Mechanic.
These courses will initially be offered at NMP Tacloban Training Complex starting January 2011.
Consolidated MARPOL 73/78 Annexes I-VI is five-day course on marine pollution prevention which include topics on the prevention of pollution by oil; control of pollution noxious liquid substances; prevention of pollution by harmful substances carried by sea in packaged form; prevention of pollution by sewage from ships; prevention of pollution by garbage from ships and prevention of air pollution from ships.
MARPOL Annexes III, IV & V is two-day course offered to address the training requirements of seafarers who have taken MARPOL Annexes I, II and VI courses separately in compliance with PRC requirements to complete the training on 6 annexes under MARPOL Convention.
Safety Training for Boat Captain and Marine Diesel Mechanic course is intended for domestic seafarers as required by Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) pursuant to its Memorandum Circular No. 170 dated December 13, 2001 on Rules on the Conduct of Examination and Issuance of License to Major Patron, Minor Patrons, Boat Captains and Marine Diesel Mechanics and per MARINA Administrative Order No. 36-09 s. 2009 which provides that one of the requirements in taking the licensure examination for boat captains and diesel mechanics is having attended a one-day safety seminar. (REYAN L. ARINTO)
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