Training centers suspend operation due to MECQ

Metro Manila’s return to the stricter Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) has, once, again adversely affected maritime training institutions (MTIs).

President Duterte has placed again Metro Manila under MECQ starting today until August 18, 2020 due to medical frontliners’ appeal to return to ECQ to give them a “timeout” amid a burgeoning number of new COVID-19 cases.

As an upshot of the unexpected reimposition of MECQ, all maritime training providers in the National Capital Region have no choice but to suspend operations at least in the next two weeks.

“Even though wala pang advisory ang MARINA (Maritime Industry Authority), minabuti naming mag-close na lang for the sake of our trainees, instructors and staff,” Dr. Glenn Mark Blasquez of Southern Institute of Maritime Studies (SIMS) said.

MARINA yesterday made an announcement that it would issue an advisory relative to the MTIs under the MECQ.

Besides, Dr. Blasquez added: “Wala ring public transportation and there’s a need for Quarantine Pass in certain areas.”

For his part, Capt Arsenio Padilla Jr. of EXACT Center said the training provider motu proprio had suspended operation for the next two weeks.  “Tigil ang physical class,” he said.

Also, COMPASS Training Center President Dakila Villanueva issued a notice, advising concerned people that onsite training activities – classroom based and practical exercises – are suspended for the duration of the MECQ.

Mr. Villanueva, however, reminded interested parties that the training center continues to provide e-learning courses. 

As a result of the suspension of MTIs’ operations in Metro Manila, seafarers with scheduled training or assessment on August4-18, 2020 will have to wait until MECQ is lifted. Earlier, the operation of testing and assessment centers and review centers, which was approved only last week, is again suspended following the reimposition of MECQ.    

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