Move will meet demand for skilled seafarers for expanding fleet

MOL recently held a groundbreaking ceremony for an extensive renovation project at the Magsaysay Institute of Shipping (MIS), MOL Training Center (Philippines), in Dasmari’as, Cavite, a suburb of Manila.

Government officials including Governor of Cavite Ireneo Maliksi and Mayor of Dasmarinas Elpidio Barzaga attended the ceremony, which started with the burying of a time capsule by MOL Chairman of the Board Kunio Suzuki, Deputy President Sato, Magsaysay Maritime Corp (MMC) President Doris Magsaysay Ho, MMC Chairman Eduardo U. Manese, and Fairmont Shipping (Canada) Ltd. Senior Vice President Charles Leung.

Before the ceremony, Kunio Suzuki and Hiroyuki Sato paid a courtesy visit to Malaca’ang Palace on April 5, where they expressed their thanks to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo for the contributions of the people and the government of the Philippines to MOL’s success. Filipino seafarers play key roles in the operation of MOL vessels all over the world.

Currently, about 10,600 Filipino seafarers serve aboard MOL-operated vessels, accounting for some 70% of the total seagoing workforce. MOL STEP calls for a rapid expansion of the company’s fleet, and when the plan is completed in March 2010, a total of 15,700 Filipino seafarers will serve on MOL ships.

President Arroyo expressed her appreciation to MOL for creating employment opportunities for Filipino seafarers, and said she looks forward to MOL’s continued contributions to the Philippine society.

Maintaining safe navigation and environmental protection are pillars of the MOL Group Corporate Principles. To recruit and train top-quality mariners to serve aboard MOL-operated vessels, the company runs its own vessel manning firms, ship management companies, and training institutes all over the world.

This redevelopment project aims to train more Filipino seafarers to expand its fleet in line with the company’s mid-term management plan, MOL STEP. The redevelopment budget is about 100 million pesos (approx. 200 million yen). The construction will be completed in about a year and a half. Major elements of the project are as follows:

The site area will be increased from 28,000 sq. m. to 31,400 sq. m., and another building will be added, bringing the total to seven, and increasing the floor space from about 5,700 sq.m. to about 8,900 sq.m.

The number of classrooms will be increased from 14 to 22.

Six additional instructors who have on-board practical experiences will join the faculty, which currently numbers 15.

A new dormitory (3,250 sq. m.) with accommodations for 350 people will be constructed.

The number of training kitchens will be increased from two to four for instruction in on-board cooking.

The authorized number of cadets will be increased from current 240 per year to 440.

The redevelopment will also enhance the all-around education of trainees, instead of focusing only on maritime technical skills. In particular, trainees who graduate from MIS are expected to advance to captains, chief engineers, or shoreside marine superintendents, so they will need additional training in leadership, analysis, judgment, and communication skills. The program will include role-playing exercises and case studies in the lectures and practical training, and assign each trainee a thesis that must be completed before graduation. The center is also hiring deans with extensive experience in education and psychology, and assigning them to help counsel trainees after school. In addition, trainees will have more opportunities for recreation, sports, lectures, and entertainment.

MOL founded the Magsaysay Institute of Shipping (MIS) in 1993, through a joint venture with two partners - Magsaysay Maritime Corp and Fairmont Shipping Ltd. As a boarding school for recruits to mariner, MIS has sent out top-quality, highly skilled seafarers since its foundation. The institute has supplied nearly 2,000 graduates to MOL and its partners. Currently, about 950 MIS