Phinma to put up maritime eng facilities in UI

University of Iloilo (UI) will tie up with manpower services firm A. Magsaysay, Inc. (Magsaysay) to build next year a new training facility at its campus in a bid to further strengthen its maritime engineering focus, the top official of the company that owns and operates the school said yesterday.

“The exciting thing in [University of] Iloilo is that on Monday (Nov. 26), we are signing a contract with Magsaysay which is the number one maritime agency in the Philippines. They are going to set up their training center for maritime professionals in our campus,” Chito B. Salazar, president of Phinma Education Network, said in an interview on the sidelines of Media Nation 9: The 9th Summit for the Philippine News Media at Taal Vista Hotel, Tagaytay City yesterday, when asked about expansion plans for Phinma-owned University of Iloilo.

Phinma Education Network is the school operating arm of listed Phinma Corp.

Magsaysay was established in 1948 originally as a ship management company. It later diversified into human resources and business process outsourcing (BPO) services, according to the company’s Web site. Magsaysay claims to recruit and train students from around the world for the maritime, cruise, health care, hospitality and engineering industries, among others.

Under its contract with the University of Iloilo, Magsaysay will bring in “cutting-edge equipment” to provide skills for maritime engineering students and professionals alike in order to keep up with global maritime trends.

“The center will have two simulation rooms, two lecture rooms, totaling almost 600 square meters,” Mr. Salazar said.

Advanced engineering skills will be taught at the new training center, he said.

One such skill is “dynamic positioning,” an operating technique useful in deep-sea drilling wherein a ship operator would be able to maintain a vessel’s position just by using its engines and without the aid of an anchor, Mr. Salazar explained.

“They’re (Magsaysay) the number one (maritime skill trainer) in the Philippines and we have a very good business relationship with them,” Mr. Salazar said.

“We think there will be a lot of synergies here and we want UI to make a name for itself in maritime engineering in Iloilo. Region 6, after all, is one of the country’s biggest sources of seafarers,” he noted.

Construction of the training complex will commence in January and should be completed in June, he added.

UI was established 1947 by former vice-president Fernando Lopez as Iloilo City Colleges, according to its Web site. It became a university in 1968 and joined Phinma Education — the group behind Cagayan de Oro College, Araullo University, and University of Pangasinan — in 2009.

Phinma Education’s parent, Phinma — formerly Bacnotan Consolidated Industries, Inc. — has subsidiaries and associates involved in investment holdings, iron sheet manufacturing, education, real estate development, real property investment, and animation BPO.

Source: BusinessWorld Online.

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