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17/06/2011: Ambassador Cuisia Discussed Bilateral Cooperation on Counter-Piracy Training and Education with U.S. Maritime Administrator Matsuda

Ambassador Jose Cuisia (4th from left) and Administrator David Matsuda (4th from right) with other officials from the Philippine Embassy and U.S. Maritime Administration

Shown in the photo above are Ambassador Jose Cuisia (4th from left) and Administrator David Matsuda (4th from right) with other officials from the Philippine Embassy and U.S. Maritime Administration.

17 June 2011, Washington DC. Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. held discussions yesterday with officials of the U.S. Department of Transportation-Maritime Administration (DoT-MARAD) led by Maritime Administrator David Matsuda.

Among the topics raised was the way forward on the Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) on Counter-Piracy Training and Education.  The MOC was signed in July 2009 in Washington, D.C. to support the “development of an efficient and safe maritime transport industry; and the promotion of efficient and safe transport policies, practices and effective measures.”

A joint pilot training course/workshop on counter-piracy is being proposed between MARAD and the Philippine Department of Labor and Employment/Maritime Training Council (DOLE-MTC), which would focus on best management practices.

Ambassador Cuisia cited MARAD’s commitment to the safety of seafarers through further training and education, a practical and timely pursuit owing to the continued threat of piracy in the high seas.  He expressed the hope that more strategic opportunities for collaboration with MARAD would be explored, possibly under a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) framework of engagement. Administrator Matsuda reiterated MARAD’s support to the Philippine government’s efforts to improve maritime safety procedures.

Philippine Embassy Labor Attaché Minda Padilla and Economic Officer Lito Nayan also joined the meeting. Other senior MARAD officials who participated in the discussions were Deputy Maritime Administrator Orlando Gotay, Jr., Assistant Administrator James Caponiti, Director Gregory Hall of the Office of International Activities, and Director Owen Doherty of the Office of Security.  END