PMO Misamis Oriental/Cagayan de Oro (PMO-MOC) joined the annual Maritime Week together with other maritime agencies and institutions in Cagayan de Oro City including the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), maritime schools and shipping lines on September 24-30, 2018.

The celebration of the Maritime Week is in consonance with Circular No.1884 of the United Nations International Maritime Organization (IMO) mandating the celebration of the World Maritime Day every last week of September of the year, and the national Proclamation No. 1094, that both aim to recognize the important contribution of the seafarers to the economic development.

This year’s week-long celebration spearheaded by the PCG District Northern Mindanao, kicked off with the simultaneous blowing of ships’ horns and display of their respective flags on September 24, 2018 at 6:00 o’clock in the morning followed by a motorcade which was participated by the port and maritime agencies, maritime students and faculty of Capitol University and Southern Philippines College, tugboat operators, representatives of the different shipping lines, and the local government units (LGU) of Barangay Macabalan and Puntod.

With ardent commitment for environment protection, the PMO had earlier organized a coastal clean-up along the beachfront of Luyong Bonbon, Opol  where an estimated total of 300 kilos of wastes were collected last 15 September 2018. The PMO also organized the mangrove planting activity in Taytay, El Salvador City on 26 September 2018 where at least 1000 mangrove propagules were planted. Simultaneously, the PMO also participated in the “Scubasurero” on September 26, chaired by the PCG, where scuba divers collected underwater non-biodegradable litters.

The highlight of the celebration, the Bomb Threat and Maritime Exercise which included drills on seajacking, bomb threat response, firefighting, oil spill control, high risk boarding, search and rescue, emergency medical response, incident command system, among others, was conducted on September 27. The maritime agencies: PPA, MARINA, PCG and PCG Auxiliary in partnership with the agencies/responding teams from City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC), Urban Search and Rescue (USAR), Bureau of Fire Protection, PNP Maritime Group, PNP Cagayan de Oro City Police Office, PNP Explosives Ordnance Disposal, Oro Rescue, Office of Civil Defense, Philippine Navy, Philippine Air Force,  and medical teams from Oroport Cargo Handling Services, Inc. and Philippine Red Cross actively took part in the simulation exercise. Other port stakeholders which participated in the said exercise are Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation, Misamis Oriental & Camiguin Harbor Pilots Inc., Golden Star Manning and Ship Management Corp., Malayan Towage Services Corp., Harbor Star Shipping Services, Inc. and Fairwind Shipping.

The celebration concluded with a thanksgiving mass and a closing program that included the awarding of Mr. and Ms. Maritime Week.  The PMO-MOC’s representatives for the pageant, Mr. Jazreil Rhys A. Vallente and Ms. Pam Gladys M. Budiongan were awarded for Best in Production Number. Ms. Budiongan was crowned as 1st runner up and Best in Formal Wear while Mr. Vallente bested the other five male candidates for the Masons’ Special Award. One of the highlights during the program was the turnover of Maritime Week hosting for 2019 to PPA. —by IMR Lam