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MPCF Camarines Sur pushes for a pro-active approach to stop drugs and spread of HIV/AIDS

Canaman, Camarines Sur – Mariners Polytechnic Colleges Foundation (MPCF), this province has made a move to stop drug addiction and the spread of Human Immudeficiency Virus/Acquired Immudeficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) starting with the school’s maritime cadets.

A whole day forum on drug addiction and HIV/AIDS information was conducted at the school campus on January 24, 2014 and was attended by students as part of their continuing education, aside from the academic studies and trainings relevant to maritime studies which they get from the institution.

This was disclosed by PCGA Captain Felix Bautista, Commandant of the MPCF Coast Guard Auxiliary-Officer Training Corps (CGA-OTC) who said “This is one of the most important activities in the formative years of our midshipmen as we prepare them to become future seafarers.”

He cited the temptations confronting maritime workers once they go out and work whether in inter-island or international shipping firms.

“It is timely that this early, they are informed of the seriousness of the adverse effects brought about by drug addiction and worse, by the HIV/AIDS menace reported to be affecting maritime workers in different parts of the world ”, added Captain Bautista.

Among the invited speakers who are experts in their respective fields of endeavor are Dr. Maria Lourdes Anson, Officer-In-Charge of the Camarines Sur Treatment and Rehabilitation Center (CRTC) who discussed the topic on ‘Drug Addiction as a Disease’ and Dr. Baby Lovella Bazar on ‘The Program and Services of CSRTC and Treament Approaches for Drug Abuse and Addiction’.

In the afternoon, Regional Director Archie Grande of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Region V talked about the role his Office performs while Ms. Soledad Aquino focused on HIV/AIDS information.

“We have to reinforce the knowledge along this line and strengthen the moral fiber of our young trainees so that when they go out to work after graduation, they will not be counted as among the victims who ruined not only their careers but their lives, as well”, explained Captain Bautista.

Seminar participants, the MPCF maritime cadets listen to the message being conveyed by invited expert resource persons who talked about relevant matters on the topics ‘Drug Addition’ and the ‘Menace Brought About by the Spread of ‘HIV/AIDS’. The seminar aims to open the minds of the attendees on hindrances which could peril their dream to become successful maritime officers.

An open forum ensued after all the speakers have said their piece.

Meanwhile, parents of students are delighted upon learning of this move initiated by the school which gives attention to something which their children should not forget after graduation.

“This feedback affirms the school’s pro-active and holistic approach in training our students in order to better prepare them as the next generation of seafarers coming from Mariners”, Captain Bautista concluded.

Misuga Kaiun and Maine Marine shipping officials visit MPCF-Camarines Sur

Visiting Misuga Kaiun Ltd. shipping executives were honored in a dinner-program by school officials . (Left to right – MPCF’s VPA Napoleon Mangente, VPAA Marian Lazaro, guests Ms. Erie Nobori and Ms. Ayaka Ueno, President Dante Jimenez, Mr. Kenzo Minagawa, Engr. Leo Fajardo, and HRD chief Dr. Edgar Despi).

Canaman, Camarines Sur – Top officials of Misuga Kaiun/Maine Marine shipping company in the Philippines visited the campus of Mariners Polytechnic Colleges Foundation (MPCF) this province on January 8, 2014.

The delegation was led by newly-promoted General Manager Kenzo Minagawa of Misuga Kaiun Ltd. Philippine branch and accompanied by two lady executives from the firm’s Crewing Department - Ms. Ayaka Ueno and Ms. Erie Nobori, who came direct from Japan to have a glimpse of their company’s operation in the Philippines.

One of the reasons for the visit was to personally see the facilities of the school and to be able to interact with the scholars which the firm supports.

It can be recalled that Mr. Kenzo Minagawa was based at MPCF Camarines Sur for the past four years and did a hands-on supervision of the Misuga-supported cadets prior to his promotion and occupation of the top post of the company’s country office in Metro Manila.

In his message to the cadets during the dinner-program, Mr. Minagawa has placed high hopes for the present crop of MPCF midshipmen who are enrolled and undergoing training in the school.

(Right Photo) Cadets under the Misuga scholarship program together with instructors on maritime studies listen to the message of Mr. Kenzo Minagawa at the dinner-program honoring the Japanese guests.

“I am pleased on how the cadets perform in their studies and training under the meticulous tutorship of professional instructors and using the upgraded facilities of Mariners”, declared Mr. Minagawa.

On the other hand, the two Crewing executives conveyed to the cadets to make good in their studies and training as the jobs that await them at the Japanese shipping firm would require the best of what they will learn from school.

“With the prevailing reality, we do not accept seafarers whose level of training is below par as they have to measure-up to the expected quality performance which conforms with world maritime standards”, said Ms. Ayaka Ueno.

Meantime, MPCF President Dante La. Jimenez welcomed the Japanese shipping officials at the dinner-program graced by the scholars, faculty and staff held at the Misuga-sponsored Culinary Arts Center facilities in the campus which was built and is being used now to train future maritime chefs.

The President of the school said, “I believe that the partnership between Misuga and Mariners will continue as it has been strengthened through the years. It has resulted to a perfect blend in which deserving students are offered hope as they cling-on to the scholarship offered to them with Mariners as the conduit”.

“The school and the shipping company continue to register impact on MPCF graduates insofar as improving the economic living standard of the seafarers’ families is concerned”, MPCF President Dante La. Jimenez concluded in his address to the cadets and to the Japanese guests. ###

Mariners System forms core group to make operational Project L4SS of Elsevier Foundation

The members of the core group tasked to make operational the project of ELSEVIER Foundation and MARINERS - the ‘Library for Safe Seafaring (L4SS) in a meeting and briefing with MPCF Camarines Sur Chair Evita L. Jimenez (5th from right), and other members of the team (right to left) VPAA Marian Lazaro, Dean of Maritime Studies Manuel U. Olivan, HRD head Dr. Edgar Despi, EVP and L4SS Project Director Merle J. San Pedro and the rest in the support staff of the project.

Canaman, Camarines Sur – The administration has formed the Core Group which is tasked to implement the establishment and operation of the Library for Safe Seafaring (L4SS) which will be based at the Mariners Polytechnic Colleges Foundation (MPCF), this province.

The establishment of this modern library is the result of the selection process conducted by the Amsterdam-based ELSEVIER Foundation in which Mariners has been adjudged to be the sole recipient of the grant in the entire Southeast Asian region. The grant aims to develop a globally connected LIBRARY 4 SAFE SEAFARING (L4SS) Infrastructure for local maritime schools in the Philippines to enhance education and training of competent and safety conscious seafarers.

L4SS hopes to convert the MPCF library as a modern learning cum advocacy facility and develop it as a reliable source of knowledge on the latest maritime trends, relevant references, teaching tools and learning materials promoting quality maritime education and training with emphasis on safe seafaring. It also hopes to develop a technologically equipped and globally connected library, a modern library that is manned by a staff trained to use modern technology for library development and develop its easy access to main users – the students and faculty.

In a recent development, MPCF Camarines Sur Chairperson Evita L. Jimenez announced in a meeting held on January 11, 2014 the appointment of Executive Vice President Merle J. San Pedro as Project Director and to be ably supported by select officers and department heads of the school.

Included in the team to spearhead the move to put into operation the project are Vice President for Academic Affairs Marian Lazaro, HRD chief Dr. Edgar Despi, Dean of Maritme Studies Manuel U. Olivan, Office of Research and Extension Services (ORES) head Eden Arenas, Office of Financial Affairs O.I.C. Jenara Delfino, Alumni Coordinator Ramchand Tolaram, Website Administrator Anne Beatrice Madarang, the school Librarian and Mariners System’s Corporate Public Affairs Officer (CPAO) Elmer S. Abad.

Also included to support the Core Group are the respective Media Relations Officers (MRO’s) of the three Mariners schools in Bicol namely VPA Napoleon Mangente of MPCF Camarines Sur, Mr. Jovan Galvo of MPC Naga and Captain Steven James Diño of MPCF Legazpi.

The project is expected to revolutionize the library services offered by the school more so that the focus of the Grant is for safe seafaring of seamen who will be manning domestic and international sea vessels in the near future. ###

MPCF Camarines Sur signs agreement with Elsevier Foundation on establishment of modern library on safe seafaring

Officials of MPCF Camarines Sur (Seated left to right – President Dante La. Jimenez, Merle J. San Pedro, EVP and Project Officer, Evita L. Jimenez, Board of Trustees Chairperson. Standing left to right – Nimfa V. Jimenez, Board member and VP for External Affairs, Dr. Marilissa J. Ampuan, Board Member and MPC Naga President and Dr. Edgar Despi, Office of Research and Extension Services and HRD) Director during the signing of the agreement with ELSEVIER Foundation on the project Library for Safe Seafaring of L4SS on December 23, 2013. The joint venture aims to transform the existing library of MPCF into a modern library updated with relevant maritime publications and internet-linked computers that will serve as a continuing learning facility promoting maritime safety for MPCF students, faculty and seafarers working around the world.

Canaman, Camarines Sur – The administration of Mariners Polytechnic Colleges Foundation (MPCF), this province signed an agreement on December 23, 2013 with the Amsterdam-based ELSEVIER Foundation on the establishment of a modern library using state-of-the-art technology which will help maritime students in their quest for knowledge as it will offer a learning facility which will promote awareness and increased competence for maritime safety.

Present during the signing held at the MPCF Camarines Sur boardroom were representatives of the school administration led by Board of Trustees Chairperson Evita L. Jimenez, President Dante La. Jimenez, Executive Vice President Merle J. San Pedro who is Project Director of the ‘Library for Safe Seafaring’ (L4SS), Vice President for Student and External Affairs Nimfa V. Jimenez, Board of Trustees member Dr. Marilissa J. Ampuan and President of MPC Naga and Office of Research and Extension Services (ORES) and Human Resource Department Director Dr. Edgar Despi.

The Mariners school has been selected to be a recipient of this grant based on the study that Filipinos especially those from coastal communities are naturally resilient to the life at sea. One of the leading maritime institutions in the Philippines is the Mariners Polytechnic Colleges Foundation (MPCF) located in one of the country’s poorest coastal regions, Bicol. ISO-9001- MPCF belongs to the country’s top performing maritime schools. Its students and faculty assist the Philippine Coast Guard in rescue/retrieval operations and have been recognized as dependable ship crew even during maritime disasters.

Most Filipino seafarers come from poor families and maritime institutions which need enhancement when it comes to modern learning tools including libraries. The recent audit of the European Maritime Safety Administration validated this finding. EMSA noted areas which need to be improved especially on the country’s maritime training and education as well as the betterment of the system in the state’s monitoring of safe ships and preparedness for future seafarers. These have a great impact on global shipping and the maritime industry.

At MPCF, it will be pioneered that as a maritime school, students’ learning will be boosted by well-equipped library with staff that will be provided with improved training in library management especially with the use of advanced technology to facilitate learning.

Through the MPCF, the LIBRARY FOR SAFE SEAFARING or L4SS project is being proposed. L4SS seeks to develop the MPCF library as a modern learning cum advocacy facility, a reliable source of knowledge on the latest maritime trends, relevant references, teaching tools and learning materials that are accessible to its main users; and technologically equipped, globally connected and manned by a staff trained to use modern technology for library development to promote quality maritime education and training with emphasis on safe seafaring. Technology development is a key requirement in the project considering that while Filipinos rank among the world’s top technology users, their schools lack the necessary formal tools. The intended transformation of the library will serve as a model for other institutions.

The Library for Safe Seafaring (L4SS) Project
The project aims to enhance the library of MPCF into a modern maritime annals updated with relevant maritime publications and internet-linked computers that will serve as a continuing learning facility easily accessible by its main users – the students - and even long after graduation when they already onboard ocean-going vessels. It is called the Library for Safe Seafaring or L4SS because while covering a wide range of categories under technology, science, health and issues of family, society and culture, the information and learning materials will particularly focus on promoting awareness, aiding learning and building capacity on maritime safety.

The project’s over-all goal, however, is not only to have a modern and updated library; it is also an advocacy learning facility to promote awareness and increased competence for maritime safety. For aside from the usual type of disasters, most telling now is the increasing danger or threat of other high-risk incidents at sea like piracy, sea lane conflicts and human/drug trafficking as well as psychological, health and physical dangers on seas for which today’s seafarers must be prepared too.

Related to this goal is for L4SS to be the major stockroom of updated maritime and related multi-disciplinary materials inside the campus where students, faculty and researchers have easy access for learning and research. L4SS will thus have its own organized micro site embedded in the school’s main website that opens to a portal for accessing titles, learning aids like slideshows, documentations, memos, multimedia videos and clips, books (digital and hard copies), manuals, geographic maps and other multimedia learning materials falling under the various categories to help guide teaching and learning according to current international standards as provided for in the new guidelines of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

Under science and technology category are topics of Mathematics, Physics, Marine Engineering, Navigation, Merchant Marine, Naval Architecture, Seamanship, and Nautical Knowledge, among others. Under health are topics of Medical/First Aid, Nutrition, Hygiene, Psychosocial Well-being, HIV-AIDS and other most common diseases among seafarers. Issues of society and culture include topics like Gender Sensitivity, Family, Depression and Mental Health, Multiculturalism, Discrimination, Conflict Management, Labor Rights, Crew Well-Being, Air Pollution, Anti-Piracy, Human Trafficking, and Illegal Drugs Trafficking, among others.

To help enhance learning, additional goal is the propagation of the culture of the 3 Rs (reading, rithmetic [arithmetic] and research) considered as weak learning spots among many maritime students starting with the present crop of 2,200 students, 110 faculty and training staff of MPCF and another 2,500 students, 180 faculty and training staff of MPCF Camarines Sur’s sister school in Legaspi City.

To be installed in the library are 20 state-of-the art desktops programmed at high speed with unlimited access/data for internet research and easy access by the users to the library materials and the global maritime community including the agencies involved in the enforcement and monitoring of international safety standards. This way, L4SS continually keeps abreast of the trends and developments in the maritime community around the world. A competent staff of five (5) oriented and trained with advanced skills to manage the globally-connected library programmed by experts for easy navigation by its key users is developed to ensure quality library service. The staff will be ably aided by the school’s Technical group guided by an IT expert that provides the technological support for the project’s newfound services.

Establishing links with international learning resource centers (e.g. libraries) is enhanced like the library of the California Maritime Academy or Cal Maritime in California, USA where there are many strong Filipino communities. More linkages with other service-oriented websites that cater to health, family and social life concerns, for example, would similarly be established like the present linkages with networks attending to spiritual well-being and mental health. MPCF tracer studies and other researches show the institutional need like psycho-social intervention programs to address physical and mental health problems like depression, disorientation, exposure, and coping with sexually-transmitted diseases as well as nutrition, family disintegration because of long absence of a spouse while overseas, among others.

To gauge the impact of and continually improve L4SS service, survey –both online and face-to-face - is conducted among its users. As more users in the community participate and gain benefits from accessing and using the L4SS, a website called seasafety.org shall be set to motion to serve as a regulated forum for various practical experiences of seafarers –both Filipino and foreigner- beginning with the MPCF seafarers in dealing with actual disasters – natural or man-made type - while onboard their vessels. It will be effectively linked to the L4SS. In the world of information of technology, the goal is for the seasafety.org website to be popular among the users in the light of growing demand for maritime safety awareness with its news, human interest stories, letters, and advisories aside from quick links to official international conventions, rules, agreements on quality standards on safety and rights for their immediate references.

Another related goal is to make L4SS service still available to graduates onboard ocean-going vessels either as officers or crew by way of continued access to the library as a form of distance study learning at easy cost. Graduates onboard ships continue to avail of the L4SS facility and service being members of the MPCF alumni. In addition, they also automatically get to participate in sharing their experiences as ship crew with the seasafety.org website. The MPCF Alumni will be encouraged to launch a “Donate a Book a Year for L4SS,” to help sustain the quality of learning materials with the fast-paced developments around the globe. This way, all graduates continue to be part of the growing safety conscious maritime community from the MPCF. This website therefore gives added value to the project.

The end goal for the L4SS project is to institutionalize the use of the upgraded library as a valuable learning facility for quality education and training at the MPCF to produce more safety-conscious and trained seafarers –licensed officers and crew-- compliant with international quality standards on maritime safety. With MPCF as a leading institution among 80 other members of the Philippine Association of Maritime Institutions (PAMI) and the Philippine Association of Maritime Training Centers (PAMTCI) in the country, the success of L4SS will inspire other schools to follow or join the model. The successful implementation of the project will contribute positively in addressing the adverse impact of the findings of the EMSA audit on maritime education and training in the country relative to the demands of the international seafaring industry and the significant improvement of learning for maritime safety. ###

Link to Elsevier Foundation: ELSEVIER Foundation

MPCF’s Jifrey Azor qualifies in South Africa’s February 2014 swimming competition

Philippine Swimming League president Susan Papa (center in black shirt) poses with Midshipman Jifrey Azor (extreme right, standing) and PSL participants in Cape Town, South Africa. The swimmers, who showed outstanding performance in last month’s Bangkok international age group competitions, are Claire Adorna, Emmanuel Joshua Lorbes, Yuri Ilustre, Mctracy Alindogan, Lans Donato, Joy Rodgers, Angela Sophia Villamil and MPCF’s Jifrey Azor. Metro Manila – President Susan Papa of the Philippine Swimming League (PSL) has confirmed that Mariners Polytechnic Colleges Foundation (MPCF) Camarines Sur’s swimming star Midshipman Jifrey Azor is among the eighteen (18) outstanding Filipino swimmers given accreditation, with him having met the qualifying standards for the 2014 Western Province Aquatics (WPA) Swimming Gala to be held at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) Aquatics Center in Cape Town, South Africa on Feb. 8-9, 2014.

In separate messages received from MPCF Camarines Sur Chairperson Evita Jimenez and President Dante La. Jimenez, the two officials released the information on the PSL statement that the swimmers had been selected based on their performances in the 51st PSL Series held at the Diliman Preparatory School (DPS) swimming pool in Quezon City and at the Bangkok Invitational Swimming meet in the 4th quarter of 2013.

Midshipman Jifrey Azor (5th from right) with fellow Filipino swimmers in a huddle with girls from the Hong Kong swimming team in Bangkok, Thailand

The Philippine Swimming League is the national sports association for swimming of the Federation of School Sports Associations of the Philippines and is the longest running swimming grassroots program in the country today.

Aside from Azor who represents the category for ‘boys 17 years-old and over’, the Philippine delegation to South Africa this February 2014 include Ma. Claire Adorna (girls’ 17 years and over), Ma. Paula Angela Villamil (girls 13 years), McTracy Alindogan (boys’ 13 years), Emanuel Joshua Lorbes (boys’ 16 years), Yuri Ilustre (boys’ 14 years), Micaela Jasmine Mojdeh (girls’ 7 years), Kyla Soguilon (girls’ 9 years), Charize Esmero (girls’ 11 years), Imee Joyce Saavedra (girls’ 12 years), Seth Isaak Martin (boys’ 11 years), Jordan Lobos (boys’ 10 years), Jerard Jacinto (boys’ 12 years), JC Doragos (boys’ 15 years), Chloe Fabic (girls’ 10 years), Paula Cayanan (girls’ 14 years), Kyle Mendoza (girls’ 15 years) and Mary Angelic Saavedra (girls’ 16 years).

“We’re aiming to win medals and we’re looking forward to see the Filipino community in South Africa cheer for us and boost the confidence of our young swimmers,” said PSL chief Susan Papa.

Meanwhile, Commodore Dante La. Jimenez of MPCF Camarines Sur has expressed optimism on this development and he believes in Azor’s ability in this line of sport as the athlete embarks in another international swimming event. “He can make it!”, President Jimenez declared.

Personnel of MPCF-Camarines Sur attends new year Holy Mass of ‘Hope and Thanksgiving’

Rev. Father Romy Donacao, Parish Priest of Canaman, Camarines Sur celebrates new year and first Friday mass of ‘Hope and Thanksgiving’ at the MPCF chapel

Canaman, Camarines Sur – The personnel of Mariners Polytechnic Colleges Foundation (MPCF) this province attended a New Year and First Friday Mass held at the school chapel.

The Eucharistic celebration was called ‘Mass of Hope and Thanksgiving’ as it was the first mass held at the campus on January 3, 2014 on a First Friday of the month.

The celebrant, Canaman, Camarines Sur Parish Priest Rev. Father Romy Donacao in his homily said “This is a celebration of hope and thanksgiving. We hope and pray for the best for Mariners in the year 2014 while we thank the Lord for all the graces and blessings received by the institution and its personnel in the year 2013”.

Mariners personnel hears mass on the first working day of the year 2014

MPCF staff receiving Holy Communion during the Eucharistic celebration while the choir sings songs of praise

“This is also an opportunity for repentance for all of us for the sins we have committed”, Father Donacao added. The Holy Mass was significant inasmuch as it was celebrated on the first working day of the year. In attendance were mostly the department heads and the members of the non-teaching staff as the faculty members and students are still on vacation with classes scheduled to start on January 6, 2014 – Monday after the holiday season.

Vice President for Administration Napoleon Mangente met with the personnel and suggested that a regular choir composed of MPCF employees be organized so that the next first Friday masses can be celebrated vibrantly and meaningfully.

Meanwhile, the suggestion was well received as they believe that an on-going activity such as this which leads to a sustained evangelization of employees and students should be a regular campus event. ###

MPCF Camarines Sur remembers Engr. Jaime ‘Boboy’ Jimenez, Jr. in simple get together and ‘Celebration of Christmas for Children’

The Mariners-Camarines Sur community had a simple Christmas celebration remembering Engineer Jaime ‘Boboy’ Jimenez, Jr.

Canaman, Camarines Sur – The Mariners Polytechnic Colleges Foundation (MPCF), this province has commemorated the death anniversary of Engineer Jaime ‘Boboy’ Jimenez, Jr. in a simple Christmas gathering dubbed as ‘Alay kay Boboy’ held at the school campus on December 20, 2013.

The members of the faculty and staff gathered in the morning of the same day at the JCJ Gymnasium and distributed gift-packs to the children from the neighborhood, engaged them to play parlor games with prizes and offered snacks as traditionally done on this day in remembering the late school official.

The occasion was honored by the presence of Mariners System’s Chairperson Emeritus Eliza Lazaro Jimenez.

In the afternoon, a simple Christmas program was held at the school canteen and was attended by the members of the faculty, the staff and representatives from the school administration.

The plain celebration, minus the expensive food and stuffs was intentionally done as a matter of choice from among the school personnel.

“This is our gesture of harmony with the typhoon victims of Typhoon Yolanda which brought havoc to millions of residents in the Visayas Region on November 8, 2013”, said Vice President for Administration Napoleon Mangente.

MPCF-Camarines Sur Chair Evita L. Jimenez (center) graced the event with President Dante La. Jimenez (left) and Professor Bobby Tuazon (right) of the Center for People Empowerment in Governance (CenPEG) of the University of the Philippines as guest.
School officials, members of the faculty and staff were gathered in a simple celebration in solidarity with the victims of Supertyphoon Yolanda

Instead of spending a huge amount for a sumptuous Christmas party, a decision was arrived at to give donation to the suffering people affected by the super-storm. It can be recalled that the Mariners System which includes MPCF-Camarines Sur has been an active participant in several relief and medical missions to the Visayas.

Despite the simplicity of the occasion, the personnel expressed their joy as they know they are able to share, in their own little way, in lessening the sufferings of the evacuees.

The joy of MPCF personnel is drawn in their faces despite the austere school Christmas celebration which was their option in order to be able to share something for the victims of the Supertyphoon

In another development, the administration is elated with the satisfactory number of enrollees the school have for the second semester.

“We have all the reasons to thank God for sparing Bicol Region from the wrath of Typhoon Yolanda. Had we been hit, we would not be in the position to be of help and we would not be enjoying the blessings which Mariners is getting now in terms of the number of enrollees of students and with parents who continue to put their trust in this institution”, President Dante La. Jimenez declared, as part of his holiday season message to the school personnel.