The site is still on a "Beta Version"

MAAP at 25: Leading centre of maritime education, training


Through its continuing commitment, communications and collaboration, the AMOSUP-managed academy aims to ensure that Filipinos will always be the ‘seafarer of choice’ of foreign shipowners. MAAP President, Vice Admiral Eduardo Ma R Santos, shares his insights

Twenty-five years. A quarter of a century. The Maritime Academy of Asia and the Pacific (MAAP) has certainly gone a long way. Incepted by the late Captain Gregorio S Oca, the visionary founding president of the Associated Marine Officers’ and Seamen’s Union of the Philippines (AMOSUP), MAAP rose from the ruins of the desolate, deserted, decrepit Kamaya Hotel in Mariveles, Bataan.

It was envisioned to become a world-class maritime higher education institution that would be on a par with or better than other universities here and abroad. MAAP was designed not only to provide a steady stream of young global maritime professionals to the Union and to the international seagoing service but also to bolster the national economy with dollar remittances from higher-salaried merchant marine officers.

Fast forward to 2023, the academy stands out as the leading center of excellence in maritime education and training not only in our region but even beyond. From the original 12-hectare campus, MAAP has increased its land area 10-fold to 122 hectares. Its first four buildings have mushroomed to 62 edifices including staff housing. From the 136 midshipmen of class 2003, the student population is now 1,774 with 41 women and has graduated 5,108 officers including 162 women. 

Captain Gregorio S Oca

From a fledgling maritime academy at the entrance to Manila Bay, 175 miles west of Manila, MAAP has forged partnerships with maritime universities in five Asian countries and even reached out as far as Continental Europe, Norway and Sweden. These were fostered by active membership in two international professional organisations such as the London-based, Nautical Institute (NI) and the Institute for Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMAREST) and five international organisations of maritime universities/schools such as the International Association of Maritime Universities (IAMU).

Despite the loss of our founding chairman, his successor, Dr Conrad F Oca, our “prolific builder” has added 12 buildings, a brand new 2,000-tonne training ship, a ferry boat, four buses, an ambulance and a full-mission crane simulator. All our full-mission bridge/engine simulators are now being upgraded to handle the digitalisation and decarbonisation projects for the maritime industry.

MAAP is an ISO 21001 certified institution audited by DNV, QMET by TUVSUD, OPITO, PACUCOA, CHED and MARINA. Last December 2022, MAAP was awarded a Certificate of Excellence by NI and IMAREST.

For the next quarter century, starting next year, MAAP will complete the construction of three more academic/training buildings, upgrade our two full-mission integrated navigation and engine simulators, send two more faculty members to our partner universities in Europe and Norway and enhance our programme of studies to prepare our graduates for the new developments in the international maritime industry specifically digitalisation and decarbonisation.

This enhancement will also benefit current seafarers/members of AMOSUP who will be affected by these new developments. As the educational and training arm of the Union, MAAP will endeavour to innovate and lead the education sector to ensure that Filipino seafarers will always be the seafarer of choice of foreign shipping companies and that among our current members at sea, despite the disruptions due to advances in technology. ‘No seafarer will be left behind’.

Indeed, that is a tall order but it is definitely the next dream devoutly to be wished. We will need continuing commitment, communications, cooperation and collaboration of the MAAP family under the larger AMOSUP family, to make this dream come true and earn the ‘Silver Smiles’ of Captain Gregorio Sta Cruz Oca as we – ‘Go for gold!’ SF