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17/10/2011: US Maritime Administrator Matsuda and Philippine Trainees Discuss Pilot Training Course on Maritime Anti-Piracy with Ambassador Cuisia

Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. (2nd, seated from R-L) conveys to US Maritime Administrator David Matsuda (3rd, seated from L-R) the Philippine Government’s strong commitment to support greater maritime anti-piracy coordination and cooperation procedures between and among states, regions, organizations and industries.

(L-R): Economic Officer Lito Nayan, Capt. Abelardo Pacheco (training participant), Labor Attaché Luzviminda Padilla, Capt. Pancracio Alfonso (training participant), Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr., Maritime Administrator David Matsuda, US MARAD Director Greg Hall, and Mr. Terrence Bogans of US MARAD

17 October 2011, Washington, D.C. – US Maritime Administrator David Matsuda, together with Philippine trainees, Capt. Pancracio O. Alfonso (Ret.), Training Assessor of the Maritime Academy of Asia and the Pacific (MAAP), and Capt. Abelardo Pacheco, discussed today with Philippine Ambassador to the U.S. Jose L. Cuisia, Jr., the pilot training course program on maritime counter-piracy scheduled on 17-21 October, to be held in Washington, D.C., King’s Point, New York, and Piney Point, Maryland.

“It is imperative that we build our capacities to deter, interdict, and bring to justice those who commit acts of piracy and armed robbery against our ships and seafarers. This bilateral initiative, therefore, is timely and extremely important,” Ambassador Cuisia said during the meeting.

Administrator Matsuda affirmed that “there’s a lot that can be learned from each other, on how we can be more effective in promoting maritime safety and security.” He expressed optimism that both governments will be able to “develop a more permanent type” of cross-training program. He also stressed that the five-day course is “a good first step.”

The Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) on Counter-Piracy Training and Education, was signed by US Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and then Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo on 31 July 2009. The MOC provides a means to contribute to the safety of seafarers, primarily through joint seafarer training and educational initiatives.

The conduct of the pilot training course aims to explore more fully how the Philippine and US Governments can more effectively contribute to the safety of mariners through a cooperative approach to education and training between Filipino and US maritime educational institutions.

Director Greg Hall of the MARAD-Office of International Activities, Mr. Terrence Bogans of the Office of the Administrator, Labor Attaché Luzviminda Padilla, and Economic Officer Angelito Nayan also joined the meeting. Filipino maritime cadet Joseph Navasero of the MAAP is also confirmed to join the training course. END