The president of the Maritime Academy of Asia and the Pacific (MAAP), Vice Admiral Eduardo Ma R Santos, is set to receive a lifetime achievement award at Crew Connect, the world’s biggest manning event today, November 20.
Crew Connect, which kicked off on November 18 at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza, gathers more than 500 stakeholders, executive and experts in the global shipping, manning, and maritime education and training sectors.
Santos is recognized for his significant and lasting contribution to the Philippine shipping and maritime industry.
He is a graduate of the Philippine Military Academy and had a full range of achievements under his sleeve even before he joined the merchant marine industry. He was the 23rd Flag Officer in Command (FOIC) of the Philippine Navy from 1996 to 1999, and was responsible for the initial modernization of the Philippine fleet with the acquisition of three Peacock class patrol ships and production of locally manufactured patrol craft fast (PCF).
He served as the commander of the Fifth Coast Guard District from 1989 to 1990, covering Cavite, Bicol and Mimaropa. He also became the vice chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the chief of naval intelligence of the Philippine Navy.
With his extensive military experience, Santos was handpicked by the government in 1980 to manage the busiest port in the Philippines at the height of Martial Law. He protected the water corridors and coastal entry points of North and South Harbors, the International Container Terminal (ICT), and the Bataan and Romblon ports from possible smuggling and rebellion.
It was during this stint when he first met one of the founders and leaders of the local maritime industry — Capt. Gregorio Oca and later established MAAP with him. They modeled the school’s curriculum after the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) in Kings Point, New York and it was governed by international maritime tripartite groups of employers, unions, and ship owners.
By receiving the said award, Santos joins the ranks of Miguel Magsaysay of the Magsaysay Maritime Corp., Capt. Gregorio Oca of the Association Marine Officers and Seamen’s Union of the Philippines, and Carlos Salinas, Maritime Ambassador of the International Maritime Organization.