Philippine Merchant Marine Academy

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--Winnie 16:57, 12 April 2007 (Pacific Daylight Time)Template:Cleanup-gallery

Philippine Merchant Marine Academy

Motto Righteousnes, Humility, Courage

January 1 1820,
Intramuros, Manila

Type Public
Location San Narciso, Zambales, Philippines

The Philippine Merchant Marine Academy or the PMMAis a maritime institution in the Philippines located in San Narciso, in the province of Zambales. The PMMA is operated by the Philippine Government under the supervision of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED). Students are called "midshipmen" but are often also referred to as "cadets".

The academy offers courses for Bachelor of Science degrees in Marine Transportation and Marine Engineering. Both are four-year residency courses consisting of a three-year period of academic studies (1st, 2nd and 4th year) and one year apprentice training (3rd year) on board commercial vessels plying the international sea lanes as deck or engine cadets. For those who wish to reach the upper echelons of the maritime industry, the academy also offers Master's degree courses in Shipping Business Management and Maritime Education.

Aside from addressing the academic requirements of the midshipmen, the curriculum also provides training for their leadership and discipline. The leadership and discipline training scheme is military oriented. Such approach is deemed necessary considering the uniqueness of the marine profession which requires the highest degree of leadership, discipline and integrity. As a result, graduates of PMMA are automatically commissioned as Ensign in the Philippine Navy and the Philippine Coast Guard.


To educate and train midshipmen/women to become qualified and competent merchant marine officers for shipboard and shore-based positions in response to the global requirements of the expanding international maritime industry, as well as to become competent and capable naval officers who can serve as naval and military auxiliaries in times of war and national emergencies, and to contribute to the improvement of maritime education and the pool of ship business managers through graduate school programs.


The Philippine Merchant Marine Academy envisions through its academic programs and quasi-military training to produce a balanced personality out of every graduate, i. e. an internationally acceptable officer and gentleman who can function efficiently in his field of endeavor and contribute to the development and progress of the Filipino nation.


The Philippine Merchant Marine Academy is committed to a policy of providing the highest practicable standards of maritime education and training to its Corps of Midshipmen, and to produce merchant marine officers with an assured level of quality, which satisfies all national and international standards



Cabildo Street, Intramuros, Manila
PNS early 1900's

The Philippine Merchant Marine Academy (PMMA) was originally named "Escuela Nautica de Manila". It was created by virtue of a royal decree issued on January 1, 1820 through the recommendation of the Spanish Consulate of Commerce. It was then inaugurated on April 5, 1820 in its initial location, 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 school was temporarily closed during the Philippine Revolution. It was reopened after the American Occupation on December 15¸1899 and it was renamed as the Nautical School of the Philippine Islands. It was moved once more into the U.S. Navy Warehouse at Calle Sta. Elena in San Nicolas with Spanish as the medium of instruction.

Later it 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 Aroceros St., Manila, then later moved to Roberts St., Pasay City. During the 2nd world war, classes were suspended but these were reopened by the Japanese. During the liberation, it was placed under the supervision of Capt. Francisco Castañeda.

In 1963, R.A. 3680 converted the Philippine Nautical School into the Philippine Merchant Marine Academy and changed its course offerings into B.S. 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 San Narciso, Zambales.





Present Day (PMMA, San Narciso Zambales)

The PMMA, Asia's oldest maritime institution and a pillar among maritime institutions in the country, has developed the Quality Policy Manual in compliance with the requirements of the 1995 International Convention on Seafarers' Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW '95) and the Policies, Standards and Guidelines for Maritime Education 1997 of the Commission on Higher Education.

It is only fitting for PMMA to lay down in printed form the guidelines, policies and procedures that are behind the standards of quality education and training of world famous PMMA cadets. It behooves PMMA likewise, to formally lay down and pass on, its management secrets that have led to the quality of work and service standards among its faculty and staff, which are the very pillars of its educational system.

On June 26, 2002, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed an agreement between the Philippine Government and the Federal Republic of Germany, through the development agency Kreditanstalt fur Wiederaufbau (KFW). Under the cooperation, KFW shall provide financial and technical assistance to the PMMA, which are appropriated for the acquisition of simulators and other equipment, infrastructure developments (including the establishment of a one-stop state-of-the-art training center), and enhancement of faculty competencies through training and development and international exposures.

On February 27 2004, the PMMA formally laid the foundation for the construction of the PMMA Safety Training Center. This activity was considered a significant milestone as the PMMA enters into the modern era of maritime education and training.

The following year, the upgrading project came into fruition with the delivery and installation of the full-mission Bridge and Engine Room simulator and other equipment manufactured by Rheinmetall Defence Electronics, and the delivery of the laboratory ship, RPLS Juan Luna, which is now berthed at the PMMA Safety Training Center’s own pier.

PMMA has not lagged behind in its quest of producing competent and qualified merchant marine officers. It is hoped that with the recent improvements and subsequent future projects, those who will follow in the footsteps of managing this prestigious institution will be inspired to continue its famous tradition and also feel free to improve and build upon this legacy - a world famous merchant marine institution known for quality and good performance with standards of management and training comparable only with the best.

Objectives of the PMMA

To provide the Philippine Merchant Marine with efficient and well-trained Marine Officers capable of meeting the needs of an ever-expanding foreign and coastwise trade and competent to serve as Naval Officers in times of war or national emergency.

To give adequate background to graduates for responsible positions in fields of Merchant Marine Services such as Shipping Executives, Port Supervisors, Marine Surveyors and others.

To develop in our youth a high moral character, inculcating the sense of Responsibility, Self-discipline and Righteousness.

The Corps of Midshipmen

The student body of PMMA is referred to as the Corps of Midshipmen. Their lifestyle follows a rigorous Regimental Class System which involves seniority, leadership and discipline training, and the Honor Code. Each year level is termed as "class", the fourth year/graduating students being the "First Class Midshipmen" (1Cl), the third year "Second Class" (2Cl), and so on. The Fourth Class Midshipmen are also termed as "plebes" or "bugs" while the Third, Second, and First Class Midshipmen are termed as "Upperclassmen".

Life in the Academy

The midshipmen are required to live on campus during weekdays on their Fourth, Third and First class years. Their Second class year is devoted for the sea phase of their training. This time is spent aboard commercial vessels as Deck or Engine Cadets. A midshipman's life in the academy is governed by the daily routine which everyone is required to follow. Same as aboard a ship, midshipmen are given weekend Liberty (Shore Leave) in order for them to have some time off from the rigorous routine.

The midshipmen of PMMA are expected to live up to high standards of behaviour in or out of the academy. Hence they are required to live by the Codes which include the "Three Prayers" and the Honor Code.

The Probationary Period

Aspiring midshipmen who pass the entrance examinations and a rigorous medical and physical examination are asked to report to the Academy for their Orientation which usually begins on the first week of May. It is a month long period of indoctrination and training which is geared towards transforming an individual from living a carefree civilian life into the regimented lifestyle which PMMA cadets hurdle day in, day out. This is necessary in order to prepare the Probationary Midshipmen or "Probies" in their role as the newest members of the Corps.

Not everyone who enters as Probie, makes it out as Fourth Class, though. The training is very taxing physically, mentally and emotionally. It was so designed in order to weed out those who are less than determined to live a life at sea which by equivalency has the same above-mentioned trait.

As probies are not yet officially members of the Corps of Midshipmen, they haven't earned the right to wear uniforms yet. For their tenure as Probies, their attire consists of khaki pants and white T-shirts with their printed name. After learning the ways of being a midshipman, the Orientation Period is concluded with their Oathtaking Ceremony wherein they are assigned their respective Serial Numbers and finally incorporated as Fourth Class Midshipmen.

Fourth Class Year

The Fourth Class System is a very intricate system which was formulated to develop a well-rounded -- physically, intellectually, mentally and emotionally -- individual capable of performing duties exceptionally and being able to remain stable even when under pressure.

The hardships of Orientation Period is over but the real challenge is just beginning. As the "lowest mammals", the fourthclassmen are constantly scrutinized by their seniors. As far as privileges go, they have none. They stand at exaggerated attention - hands back, head up, chin in. They move on the double, salute with clickings, eat square meals, and of course, they have to follow every order given to them by the upperclassmen. The only activity they are allowed to do on their free time is to do their laundry or whatever tasks the upperclassmen order them to do. "Obey, obey and obey" is the plebe's creed. As plebes, it is also their duty to know each and every member of the Corps of Midshipmen especially the upperclassmen, know the proper responses to queries and of course, to recite the "Three Prayers" whenever prompted. On top of that, they also have to do well on their academic studies which covers the basics of their intended profession.

Near the end of the Academic Year, the Fourth Class Midshipmen undergo "Recognition". Recognition Day is usually conducted on the Valentine's Day Party and is highlighted by the pinning of the Class Seal as an additional paraphernalia on the Fourth Class Midshipmen's uniform. The Class Pins are symbolic of the Fourth Class Midshipmen's acceptance as full-fledged members of the Corps. From this point onwards, they are ordered to "Relax", i.e. no more exaggerated posture, square meals, double time, etc. They also gain privileges such as wearing wrist watches and eating in between meals. Pending their academics, they are unofficially regarded as Third Class Midshipmen for whatever suitable purpose along with the duties and responsibilities inherent with the title.

Third Class Year

As plebes, all they had to do was "Obey, obey and obey". As upperclassmen, midshipmen are now given responsibilities. At this point of their training, they learn how to be both a good leader and a good follower. As the only junior upperclassmen in the Academy, the Third Class directly answers to the First Class. They still have to follow orders, but the big difference is that they can now choose to delegate or utilize the plebes to accomplish their tasks. They also get a taste of Command Responsibility in case the plebes under their instruction make mistakes.

The Third Class midshipmen have very busy schedules. In fact, they are the busiest among the midshipmen due to their obligations to the Corps and the difficulty of their academic subjects. It is now their turn to represent the Academy in various functions. The slots open for membership in the Silent Drill Company and the Sword Sponsors.

The Academy also has a number of extra-curicular organizations which are responsible for the Corps of Midshipmen's various activities throughout the Academic Year. Third Class midshipmen aspiring to hold key positions in these groups someday are encouraged to join as junior staff. These groups include the Steering Committee (events), The Galleon (school organ) and The Helm (yearbook) to name a few.

On the academics side, majority of the subjects consist of the more complicated aspects of their chosen field. These subjects are in preparation for the next phase of their training... the Shipboard Year.

Second Class Year

Cadettes on board Korean Training Ship

The Shipboard Year. PMMA midshipmen are required to spend their Second Class year onboard commercial vessels as engine or deck cadets. Various shipping companies in the Philippines eagerly accept PMMA cadets to train on their vessels in order to increase their pool of officers.

In this phase of their training, the cadets are able to back-up the theories they have learned in the academy with the actual practice and experiences they gain on board. In addition to that, they also get their first taste of seaman's life both good and bad. Their respective companies give them allowances, and they also get the opportunity to spend some of it when they go ashore. The Shipboard Year is indeed one of the highlights of a midshipman's life. For the first time in two years, they are "free" in a manner of speaking.

But of course, they will eventually realize that nothing much has really changed. Aboard the ship, they are still the most inexperienced, thus the "lowest mammals". Senior officers still scrutinize their every move while they carry out orders given to them. On board, although activities are of a different nature now, the daily routine is still in effect. And of course, there is also the matter of academics - in the form of the Sea Project - to consider.

After 12 months of rough seas and sleepless working nights, it is time to return to the Academy. Junior midshipmen usually feel a bit of dread when thoughts of returning to the Academy cross their minds. But this time, as First Class Midshipmen, dread is replaced by eagerness and excitement.

First Class Year

This is the final phase of the midshipmen's training. The academic subjects in this phase is designed to fine-tune all of the midshipmen's knowledge and skills and prepare them to function as officers upon graduation.

As the ruling class, the First Class midshipmen have the obligation to run things and make the Corps of Midshipmen function. Slots open for Officers of the Regiment, key positons in the various organizations need to be filled, events need to be planned, parades need rehearsing, and so on.

At this point of their training, the decision-making and organizational skills of the midshipmen will be developed. Big events will be organized, new policies made and every activity planned up to the finest detail with the Commandant and the Tactical Officers acting only as consultants.

Needless to say, the Seniors are the most privileged and the most powerful members of the Corps of Midshipmen. In essence, they only need to speak to make something happen. Many graduates look back to their First Class Year as the most memorable. Possibly because finally after three years, the pressure on them has been eased by a few bars and they had a semblance of freedom again to do the things they weren't allowed to do in their free time.

Final Examinations are conducted on March and the Validating Examinations right after. Once the Academic year is concluded, the midshipmen will have to finish their Naval Officer's training prior to Graduation.

Code of Ethics

  1. I shall always bring honor to the marine profession, maintain its prestige and dignity through proper behavior and excellent moral conduct.
  2. To act for the moral welfare of all and never for the benefit of a few.
  3. Never to criticize the error of a superior but use it as a guide in improving my own actuation.
  4. Never to denounce the deficiency of my subordinate; rather help him overcome his shortcomings.
  5. Never to deny one's mistakes by passing the blame to others.
  6. Never to spread false rumors for the elevation of one's reputation, for the truth shall be known.
  7. Always remember that courtesy and respect are for all; we respect the privilege of a superior but we must have greater respect for a subordinate in his right as an individual.

Code of Leadership

  1. I shall develop, retain and display the qualities of leadership by being a good follower, an inspiring and convincing leader and a sincere and loyal comrade.
  2. I shall obey and execute promptly any lawful order of a superior officer without questioning his integrity.
  3. I shall give orders to a subordinate on the basis of my authority without the use of threats or superior force.
  4. I shall share the grievances of a fellow midshipman and render assistance in his needs; be happy in his good fortune and must not be envious of his success.
  5. I shall deal with my fellow midshipmen without discrimination.
  6. And above all, I shall be self-disciplined in mind and in deeds, in the performance of my duties and responsibilities.


  1. That I will not act in such a manner so as to bring dishonor to my uniform and my profession.
  2. That I will not enter bars, night spots, gambling dens, and other places classified by the PMMA as off limits.
  3. That I shall contact the Command Duty Officer of the PMMA in any event of emergency through telephone number (047)65-4398.
  4. That I shall not drink liquor or any alcoholic beverages while on liberty.
  5. That I shall faithfully abide by the PMMA rules and regulations and be particularly concerned with my conduct.
  6. That I shall not tamper any content of this pass.

Department of Midshipman Affairs

The Corps is supervised by the Commandant of the Department of Midshipman Affairs (DMA). Tactical Officers are also designated to assist the Commandant in his duties. The DMA is responsible for the leadership and discipline training of the midshipmen. This training is centered on the implementation of the Regimental Rules and Regulations (often called Triple R) and the Honor Code which basically governs every aspect of a midshipman's academy life.

Mission of the Department of Midshipman Affairs

To provide the atmosphere and condition, established by efficient and professional instruction, whereby a candidate midshipman will be successfully transformed from a civilian to a regimented lifestyle embedded with the traditions and spirit of the Philippine Merchant Marine Academy.

To infuse the concept of the Honor System and the standard of behaviour and integrity it is designed to foster.

To breed the kind of men, molded out of continuing pride and unity of their class, the society of gentlemen synonymous with their predecessors throughout the history and tradition of the Philippine Merchant Marine Academy.

The Honor Code

"We, the Midshipmen, do not lie, cheat, steal, nor tolerate among us those who do."

A Midshipman does not Lie...

In his dealings with others, a midshipman tells the truth, regardless of the consequences. He does not quibble. He does not make evasive statements.

A Midshipman does not Cheat...

He does not defraud others nor does he take undue advantage of them. Whatever credit he earns in any activity is wholly his own.

A Midshipman does not Steal...

He does not take any personal property of another without the latter's consent. He does not keep for himself anything that he finds which does not belong to him.

A Midshipman does not Tolerate any Violation of the Code...

He is bound to report any breach of the Code that comes to his attention. He does not countenance by inaction any honor violation. If he were to, he becomes a party to such a violation and he himself is as guilty as the original violator.

Outside links

Original Source

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