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IN PHOTOS: “I love to attend to an anniversary celebration because it is an opportunity to look back on what happened in the past year—what good has been done, what mistakes have been made, and learned the lessons of failures. To look up—thanking the Lord and asking Him for wisdom. And, to look forward to not commit the same mistakes again, and move forward by applying the lessons learned.”

This is what Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Art Tugade instilled in the men and women of the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), as they marked their 47th Anniversary today, 17 June 2021.
As Secretary Tugade recognized the efforts of the MARINA, under the leadership of Administrator Robert Empedrad, in realizing various projects and initiatives, he also put forward the two significant highlights of the event—the Ceremonial Signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the Condotel for Seafarers, and the Ceremonial Vaccination of the Filipino seafarers.
Forming part of the government’s aim to promote and support the welfare of the Filipino seafarers, the “Seafarers’ Condotel” is being implemented to serve as a necessary temporary living facility for the seafarers before and after their deployment on board ships in the domestic and international trade, and also while they process their documents and requirements in several government offices in Metro Manila.
To kick off the project implementation, Sec. Tugade, together with MARINO Partylist Representative Sandro Gonzalez, and Associated Marine Officers and Seamens Union of the Philippines (AMOSUP) President Dr. Conrado Oca, officially signed the MOU, which was witnessed by MARINA Administrator Empedrad and Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) General Manager Jay Daniel Santiago.
With this initiative, Secretary Tugade conveyed his gratitude to PPA GM Santiago, for the donation of a 1,100-sqm land space for the construction of the Condotel, and to the MARINO Partylist and AMOSUP, for willingly offering financial aid for the project.
Also today, through this synergy among the DOTr, MARINA, Marino Partylist and AMOSUP, a total of 15 mariners have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
With these programs, Secretary Tugade gladly said, “Napakagandang mga programa na inaatang on the 47th anniversary of the MARINA. I congratulate you, Vice Admiral Empedrad, for thinking about these programs, because truly, with these, you tell and say to the world that MARINA CARES FOR THE SEAFARERS.”
For his part, VADM Empedrad affirmed, that as the MARINA commemorated its 47 years of striving for excellence in serving the Filipinos, it will remain relentless in fulfilling its mandate. 
“We will continue to accomplish our mission. We will continue to serve our country and the maritime, and our Filipino people towards progress, sustainability, for the future of our children and grandchildren,” VADM Empedrad said.
Secretary Tugade likewise commended the several endeavors of the agency which it has championed.
“Nagpapasalamat ako sa effort ng MARINA sa tinatawag na ‘Crew Change.’ Nakiisa at nakipagkapit-bisig ang MARINA sa PPA, sa Coast Guard, at sa DOTr, na kung saan sabi nila, sama-sama tayong itayo ‘yung crew change hub para sa kapakanan ng ating mga seafarers. Ipagpatuloy niyo ‘yung programa na ‘yan,” Secretary Tugade said.
On the agency’s anti-corruption efforts, Secretary Tugade added, “Nagpapasalamat ako kay Vice Admiral Empedrad na dalawa o tatlo na ‘yung sinipa niya sa period ng isang taon at marami pang sinuspinde. Dapat ‘ho, magkaisa tayo sa pagpuksa ng korapsyon.”
Marino Partylist Representative Gonzalez expressed his message of recognition and gratitude for the fruitful partnership between the partylist and the MARINA, “We, in the Marino Partylist, are honored to partner with a government agency, which shares our advocacies for our sector. Under the leadership of Vice Admiral Empedrad, the service Marino offers to our seafarers has reached new heights.”
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