The United Filipino Seafarers (UFS) accused the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) of corruption after learning that a liaison officer was giving authorization documents to seafarers planning to work overseas.
It called on President Rodrigo Duterte to ax Marina officials who allowed the officer who was not even an “organic employee” of Marina to perform the sensitive job.
The UFS cited the recent firings of Interior Secretary Ismael Sueno and National Irrigation Administrator Peter Laviña.
According to UFS president Nelson Ramirez, the alleged liaison officer was identified to be Jessamyn de Vicente, said to be acting under the authority of the Maritime Education and Training Standards Supervisor of Marina-Standards of Training Certification and Watchkeeping Office (STCW).
The information was made known after a source presented to Ramirez the documents, including an email, which contains documents of seafarers’ application for the issuance of their Certificate of Competency (CoC) and Certification of Proficiency.
Also included in the email is a note forwarded to Marina-STCW Executive Director Eleazar Diaz that said de Vicente was to go to Dubai on April 13 to address the processing of the seafarers’ CoC.
“When I learned about this, I immediately sent a letter to Capt. Diaz to question this. I told Capt. Diaz that Miss de Vicente is not an organic employee of Marina and no one can appoint a member of Marina that isn’t an official of Marina,” Ramirez said.
“Marina does not appoint their own regional representative to assess papers and give out Certificate of Competency and Certification of Proficiency. It will be tainted with abuse of authority. In the case of Miss de Vicente, it is very wrong because no one is accompanying her to Dubai to supervise her,” he added.
Ramirez also questioned a document allegedly signed by Capt. Diaz to appoint de Vicente as a liaison officer.
He said it is impossible that Diaz signed the document as she was in Greece at the time.
UFS learned that results of the recent board examinations for seamen showed that many achieved perfect scores.
It also found that there are some who take the examinations on days when they were not conducted.
“I was shocked to find many geniuses in our seafarers. Many got 100 percent in their board examinations,” Ramirez said.
“There were even board examinations on Saturday even if there were no people in the place where they conducted the examinations,” he added.