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New Maritime Center to be built in Iloilo

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By BEN KRITZ (TMT)

Officials from Iloilo and national agencies on Wednesday broke ground for a new P60-million Maritime Center to be built in the city, the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) said in a statement.

The Maritime Center is envisioned as “a one-stop shop for the maritime community” in Iloilo and the Western Visayas and will include facilities for training and other services for seafarers and their families, the PPA said.

Construction of the four-story center is expected to be completed by the second quarter of the year, the agency added.

PPA explained that the multi-agency initiative was spearheaded by Angkla Partylist Rep. Jesulito Manalo, in view of the importance of Iloilo and the Western Visayas region to the Philippines’ maritime workforce. Although detailed statistics are not available, the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) estimated that as many as half of the approximately 420,000 Filipino seafarers (as of end-September 2016) come from the area.

Iloilo is also home to six maritime schools or training centers, including respected maritime school John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University (JBLFMU), which specializes in training for ship officers.

The new Maritime Center will be a cooperative project of three government agencies, the PPA said. The PPA contributed the land for the Center, while the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Region VI office is handling funding of the building’s construction. Marina will provide the personnel to operate the Center once it is completed.

The development, which will cost about P60 million, is a multi-agency initiative led by the Angkla Partylist through Rep. Jesulito Manalo, wherein the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) contributed the land while the building will be financed through the. The Maritime Industry Authority (Marina), on the other hand, will provide the personnel to carry out the objective of the Center.