Changes were obviously seen and felt at the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), as monumental projects are now being implemented by Administrator Rey Leonardo Guerrero, more than a month after his official appointment to head the once coined one of the ‘corrupt’ government agencies in the country.
It can be recalled that in a speech of President Rodrigo Duterte in an occasion, he chided Guerrero, who was then about to relinquish his post as the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff, and said “Yang si Jagger ang maupo sa MARINA. Grabe ang korupsyon dyan!”
And now, Guerrero is inch-by-inch perpetrating huge development in MARINA, by implementing some measures that went stagnant over the past years.
First is, seafarers will now have additional options on where to secure their Seafarer’s Identification and Record Book (SIRB) or seaman’s book, as MARINA and SM Malls sealed recently its partnership to open additional SIRB satellite processing centers.
During the launch and ribbon cutting ceremony last June 1, 2018, Guerrero acknowledged the sealing of partnership between SM Supermalls and MARINA for letting them place SIRB Processing Centers at the 2nd Floor of North Parking Building, SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City.
“First and foremost, we at MARINA is very thankful to SM Supermalls especially to Ma. Luz Generoso of SM Supermalls Consultant for Government Service Express Center and Ms. Amy Gonzales of the SM Board of Directors SM Mall of Asia for opening again its doors for the seafarers,” Guerrero said.
He added that the first partnership between SM Supermalls and MARINA was in January 12, 2015 when it opened its satellite office in SM City Manila in securing SIRB and Domestic Certificate of Competency (COC) Processing Centers.
“Beside this, SIRB’s relevant development is its extension of validity from 5 years to 10 years and from 32 to 64 pages with no increasing of fees. And we are thankful to SM Supermalls for allowing us to place our processing centers. This development is important in providing front line services for seafarers,” Guerrero averred.
For her part, SM Board of Director Ms. Gonzales as well commended MARINA in choosing SM Supermalls to be its partner in providing services to seafarers.
“This early, we look forward to opening more Processing Centers especially in key SM branches such as SM North EDSA this June; SM Bacoor in September and SM South Mall in Las Piñas in July, and soon in SM Malls in the Visayas and Mindanao. Levels of high quality and facilities are now being enjoyed by our seafarers at makakaasa kayo na narito kami para maglingkod sa ating mga seafarers,” she said.
It can be recalled that seafarers in the previous years are having a hard time in securing their seaman’s book, where some of them have to sleep at the pavement in front of the MARINA building on Kalaw St, Ermita, Manila.
But now, seafarers will have an easy access to these satellite centers, hassle free and conveniently.
It has been a long struggle for seafarers renewing past SIRB with only five years of validity, which were good for only to two to four contracts.
Effective June 29, 2016, MARINA has released MARINA Circular No. 2016-05, which amends the old circular number 2009-10. The new MC 2016-05 stipulates the 10-year validity of SIRB; the onboard application for SIRB validity extension in one year; and the same validity period of the lost/damaged SIRB when it is replaced.
MARINA ID now as usable as Gov’t IDS
Besides the satellite offices in SM Malls, MARINA ID given to officers for both deck and engine can now be presented to banking institutions and can be utilized with the same official authority just like any government IDs.
Pursuant to Memorandum No. M-2016-019 released by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the Professional Identification Cards (lD cards) issued by MARINA may be considered a photo-bearing lD document issued by an official authority comparable in quality with those issued by the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), Social Security System (SSS), and Land Transportation Office (LTO) and eligible
to facilitate financial transactions of the holders of MARINA issued lD cards.
For this reason, the Manual of Regulations for Banks requiring the presentation of a photo-bearing ID document issued by an official authority shall mean to include said MARINA lD cards.
Online Application, Appointment System
Also, MARINA is gearing up for the full-swing implementation of its Online Application and Appointment System, which is part of its efforts to automate all of its processes.
It allows seafarers and stakeholders to have access to an automated system which provides an easier and more convenient way to complete necessary processes to duly comply with Marina requirements as set by the Standard of Training, Certification and Watch keeping (STCW).
According to Atty. Ban-eg, the user-friendly interface, plus the great features it offers is a product of Marina attending to seafarers with the objective of bringing ease to what was once an everyday struggle of every seafarer to be certified and for every institution to be compliant.
Target date for the full implementation of this measure specifically for the issuance of SIRBs and STCW certificates was on 25 June 2018, just in time for the 2018 celebration of the Day of the Filipino Seafarer.