TACLOBAN CITY – The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has pledged its continued support to the projects and programs of the National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP) that are aligned with the national priorities set by the Philippine government.

NMP Executive Director Victor A. Del Rosario paid a courtesy visit at the office of JICA Chief Representative last 14 February 2024 to revive the long-standing partnership with JICA and support NMP's strategic goal of upgrading NMP Tacloban and expanding in Luzon and Mindanao.

Del Rosario also went to thank the Government of Japan and JICA for their pivotal role in NMP's journey, from its inception through the challenging times post-Typhoon Yolanda.

JICA made a transformative impact to NMP in the aftermath of typhoon Yolanda through its grant aid which was instrumental in fast-tracking NMP's recovery by upgrading damaged infrastructure with cutting-edge training simulators and equipment.

Chief Representative Sakamoto Takema has visited NMP Tacloban twice and commended its diligent upkeep of the training simulators and facilities provided by JICA. He underscored the significance of the Philippines as an esteemed collaborator in JICA's global development endeavors.

Sakamoto said JICA is committed to supporting NMP's strategic goals while recognizing the need to align these goals with the national priorities set by the Philippine government.

He recommended that NMP engage in discussions with key government agencies such as the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), the Department of Finance (DOF), and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), facilitated through the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW).

Sakamoto also advised NMP to present comprehensive documentation, including a situational analysis or a pre-feasibility study that encompasses detailed information on the maritime industry's landscape, such as the shipping sector, the significant role of seafarers, and the employment and demographic profiles of Filipino seafarers.
The study will outline the employment results of NMP's certified trainees and the anticipated outcomes of the project. He proposed that NMP advocate for the inclusion of these initiatives in the Philippine government's priority agenda, ensuring its strategic objectives are recognized and supported at the national level.

Del Rosario said NMP is working in collaboration with NEDA to craft a comprehensive Feasibility Study aimed at shaping a Master Plan. This strategic blueprint is focused on guiding NMP's expansion efforts across Luzon and Mindanao.

He said he is confident of other agency's support especially in light of President Marcos's endorsement of the 10-year Maritime Industry Development Plan (MIDP) 2028.

JICA also highlighted its continued collaboration with the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), focusing on delivering training, and providing access to vessels and bay facilities. This partnership extends engagements with DMW aimed to address the workforce needs of Japan's aging society, particularly in the maritime sector.

With Filipino seafarers making up 80% of the crew in most Japanese vessels, JICA see this as a synergistic relationship that benefits both countries, underscoring the strategic importance of the collaboration in fostering a skilled maritime workforce.(CJ/jmm/ER)

-, February 22, 2024

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