Hiroyuki Kawashita of Teriyaki Electric Co. Ltd., representing the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), donated new equipment to the National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP) for its rehabilitation after being devastated by typhoon Yolanda.
Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis Baldoz said the donated equipment will improve the NMP seafarers’ training courses, which it has started offering since resuming operations.
“These equipment will boost the NMP’s  capability to deliver affordable, yet quality training and assessment to Filipino seafarers that will enhance their global competitiveness. It will help speed up the NMP’s rise from the devastation wrought by typhoon Yolanda,” said Baldoz during the presentation ceremony, held immediately after the NMP board of trustees meeting.
Capt. Emmanuel Jesus M. Laguitan, head of the NMP’s Maritime Training and Assessment Division, said the arrival of the first batch of equipment from Japan has restored full confidence in the NMP among the seafaring community for its ability to deliver world-class training to Filipino seafarers.
The donated equipment consists of a base plate and site assembly components for the davit of the NMP’s rescue boat; a davit for a totally enclosed lifeboat; a totally-enclosed life boat; a full-mission type engine room simulator; a global maritime distress and safety system simulator; 24 units of firemen’s suit; 24 units of immersion suit; two units of portable resuscitation kit; a set consisting of four units of helicopter sling, rescue belt, rescue work belt, and basket stretcher; a unit of distress signal kit; a multi-gas detector; and a set consisting of three units of alcohol detector. These have already arrived from Japan and are already being installed in the training facility.
“This equipment donation is very timely, coming as it does when Tacloban and the whole of Region 8 is at its momentum of returning to its normal course of economic development following President Benigno S. Aquino [III]’s call to “build back better” after typhoon Yolanda. For us at the NMP, the donation is very timely. The NMP is on its full recovery and has acquired the MARINA’s accreditation for an initial nine maritime courses which it ceased to offer after Yolanda’s fury,” Baldoz explained.
Baldoz expressed satisfaction at the speed of the NMP’s recovery, recalling that when she came last to the NMP, the situation was not as positive.
“I came to the NMP a few weeks after Yolanda and all around was debris, destroyed or collapsed structures, and unserviceable equipment. Today, two years after, the NMP is livable again, conducive to training, and vibrantly humming with activity,” she said.
“NMP employees are also now more hopeful and upbeat. They are back on their feet, and doing their best to serve our seafarers,” she added.
 The National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP) is an attached agency of the DOLE that provides maritime training and research, and responds to needs to seafarers and the industry. Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz is also the NMP chairperson.