Capt. Luis Evidente, executive assistant of the country only maritime university, complained of the “different treatment” of cadets of some shipping companies during the height of the pandemic.
“Kawawa mga kadete; iba ang pagtrato sa kanila when it comes to sending them home during the pandemic.
“Basta na lang sila pinababa,stranded sila sa mga ports; hindi man lang sila binigyan ng tulong para makauwi.
“We have to send out aid to our cadets para makauwi; pinadala namin (sila) sa mga boarding houses. In spite the fact na we have standard agreements with shipping companies,” lamented the JBLFMU official.
Also during the hearing, Capt. Evidente also asked for some financial help from the government for private maritime schools which were severely hit by the pandemic.
He said that private schools account for over 90 % of graduates of maritime programs but many are “barely surviving.”
He said that the 75-year old JBLFMU had to take sizable loans to comply with government’s requirements on maritime education standards.
“Umutang kami to have a training ship ngayon parking fee we have to pay 2,000/ day and now there’s no operation due to pandemic but we’re paying the loans,” he grumbled.Besides, Capt. Evidente added: “To comply with flexible and blended learning, we came up with modules for blended learning. We have to pay those who developed the modules.”He also proposed to Sen. Hontiveros to include in the Marino bill to stop the 60 % requirement for shipboard training among schools.
“Hindi dapat i-impose sa school na lahat ng kanilang graduates ay maging officers. Maraming nag-aral para maging lawyer pero hindi naman lahat naging lawyer,” he pointed out.
He proposed instead to bring back the practice under the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC).
“Under PRC, pag hindi mataas ang performance sa Board exam ng schools, they are closed. Schools don’t have control over shipping companies which accepts cadets,” argued Capt. Evidente, who sailed for about 30 years, 17 years as skipper.