|Philippine Merchant Marine Academy|
|Akademiyang Panlalayag ng Pilipinas|
|Motto||Righteousness, Humility, Valor|
|Established||January 1, 1820,
|Location||San Narciso, Zambales, Philippines|
The Philippine Merchant Marine Academy (PMMA) is a merchant marine academy in the Philippines. Operated by the Filipino government under the supervision of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), the academy is located in San Narciso, in the province of Zambales. Students are called midshipmen but are often also referred to as cadets. Upon graduation students are automatically commissioned as ensigns in the Philippine Navy or Philippine Coast Guard.
The academy offers courses for Bachelor of Science degrees in marine transportation and marine engineering. Both are four-year residency courses consisting of three-years of academic studies (first, second, and fourth years). The one year apprentice training (third year) is aboard commercial vessels plying the international sea lanes as deck or engine cadets. The academy also offers masters degree courses in shipping business management and maritime education.
The student body is referred to as the Corps of Midshipmen, and follows a rigid seniority system. Each year level is a "class." The fourth-year graduating students are called First Class Midshipmen (1Cl), the third year is Second Class Midshipmen (2Cl), and so on. The Fourth Class Midshipmen are also termed as plebes or bugs, while the other classes are termed as upperclassmen.
Aspiring midshipmen who pass the entrance examinations and rigorous medical and physical examinations report to the academy for orientation, a month-long period of indoctrination and training which usually begins on the first week of May. Probationary Midshipmen or "probies" who pass the orientation undertake an oath-taking ceremony at the end and are assigned serial numbers, given uniforms, and incorporated as Fourth Class Midshipmen.
The curriculum involves both academics and military-style leadership and discipline, aimed at training marine officers to manage coastal and foreign trade, serve as shipping executives, port supervisors, and marine surveyors, and serve as naval officers in time of war or national emergency. The curriculum follows the guidelines of the 1995 STCW and the Policies, Standards and Guidelines for Maritime Education 1997 set by the Commission on Higher Education.
The PMMA is part of the Luzon Science Consortium.
The academy was established during the Spanish rule of the Philippines as the Escuela Nautica de Manila (Nautical School of Manila) by a royal decree issued January 1, 1820, by King Ferdinand VII of Spain through the recommendation of the Spanish Consulate of Commerce. It was then inaugurated on April 5, 1820 at Calle Cabildo in Intramuros, Manila. In 1863, the school was relocated to Calle San Juan de Letran, then to Calle de Palacio in 1884 and then to Binondo, Manila in 1898.
The academy was temporarily closed during the Philippine Revolution. The 1898 Treaty of Paris ended the Spanish-American War and resulted in the cession of the Philippines to the United States. Under American occupation the academy was reopened on December 15, 1899 and renamed the Nautical School of the Philippine Islands again moving, to the U.S. Navy Warehouse at Calle Sta. Elena in San Nicolas, with Spanish as the medium of instruction.
Later the academy was converted into the Philippine Nautical School. In 1913, it was reopened upon representations of progressive firms and was placed under the Philippine School for Arts and Trades located at Arroceros Street, Manila, then later moved to Roberts Street, Pasay City. During World War II, classes were suspended under the Japanese occupation. After the liberation of Philippines and the establishment of the Commonwealth of the Philippines, the academy was placed under the supervision of Captain Francisco Castañeda.
In 1963, R.A. 3680 converted the Philippine Nautical School into the Philippine Merchant Marine Academy and changed its course offerings to offer Bachelor of Science degrees. It was relocated at Fort Bonifacio, Makati City, in 1968. From then on, it was placed under the Department of Transportation and Communications. In 1996, it was placed directly under the supervision of the Commission on Higher Education. On February 2, 1998, PMMA was transferred to its current location at San Narciso, Zambales.
On June 26, 2002, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed an agreement between the governments of the Philippines and Germany through the development bank KfW. Under the agreement, KfW was to provide financial and technical assistance to the PMMA, including new equipments, infrastructure developments (including a new training center), and faculty training and development. On February 27, 2004, the foundation was laid for the construction of the PMMA Safety Training Center. The following year, the project was completed with the installation of the full bridge and engine room simulator and other equipments manufactured by Rheinmetall Defence Electronics, and the delivery of a laboratory ship, RPLS Juan Luna, now berthed at the Safety Training Center pier. In 2005, there were charges of bribery and racketeering related to the Safety Training Center construction, leading to hearings in 2006 and spring 2007 in the Congress of the Philippines. This ended with the recommendation to suspend any further payments to KfW and the German contractor.