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[PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NO. 97, (1973-01-13)](https://lawyerly.ph/laws/view/l5fb2)
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[ PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NO. 97, January 13, 1973 ]

REGULATING THE PRACTICE OF THE MARINE PROFESSION IN THE PHILIPPINES.

WHEREAS, the regulation of marine profession is still left to the Revised Administrative Code despite the growth and progress of the profession;

WHEREAS, there is a need to promulgate a set of updated and responsive rules to regulate this vital profession; and

WHEREAS, there was passed by the Lower House of Congress prior to the promulgation of Proclamation No. 1081, dated September 21, 1972, a bill entitled "An Act Regulating the Practice of the Marine Profession in the Philippines" and denominated as H.B. No. 919;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Constitution as Commander-in-Chief of all the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and pursuant to Proclamation No. 1081, dated September 21, 1972, and General Order No. 1, dated September 22, 1972, as amended, do hereby order and decree:

SECTION 1. This Decree shall be known as the Philippine Merchant Marine Officers Law.

SEC. 2. Terms. — Within the application of this Act, the following terms shall be used:

  1. Merchant Marine Vessel — shall apply only to commercial ships, propelled by machinery, public or private, strictly engaged in maritime commerce, both foreign and local trade, vessels engaged in the training of cadets for the marine profession, and non-combatant vessels of the Philippine Navy engaged in operations similar to a commercial ship.
  2. Marine Officer — shall refer to both Deck and Engine Officers.
  3. Deck Officer — shall refer to a duly licensed and registered 1st (Chief), 2nd or 3rd Mate, including Major, Minor, and Bay, Lake, River, and Harbor Patrons.
  4. Engine Officer — shall refer to a duly licensed and registered 1st (Chief), 2nd, 3rd and 4th Marine and Motor Engineers.
  5. Marine Engineers — shall refer to a duly licensed 1st (Chief), 2nd, 3rd and 4th Marine engineers.
  6. Motor Engineers — shall refer to a duly licensed motor engineer, whose category falls as Bay, River and Harbor Engineers.
  7. Examiner - shall refer to a member of the Board of Examiners for Deck Officers,
    or a member of the Board of Examiners for Engine Officers.

SEC. 3. Objectives. — This Act provides for and shall govern:

  1. The examination, registration and issuance of license of certified marine officers; and
  2. The supervision, control and regulation of the practice of the marine profession in the Philippines.

SEC. 4. Implementation. — For the purpose of implementing the provisions of this Act, the following Board shall be created:

  1. Board of Examiners for Deck Officers;
  2. Board of Examiners for Engine Officers.

SEC. 5. Composition and Duties.

  1. The Board of Examiners for Deck Officers shall be composed of three Master Mariners, one to act as Chairman and the other two as members, all of whom shall be appointed by the President of the Republic of the Philippines, and confirmed by the Commission on Appointments.

  2. The Board of Examiners for Engine Officers shall be composed of three Chief Marine Engineers, one to act as Chairman and the other two as members, all of whom shall be appointed by the President of the Republic of the Philippines and confirmed by the Commission on Appointments.

It shall be the duty of the Board of Examiners for Marine Officers to:

  1. Conduct a thorough inquiry into the character and habits of all applicants for licensing. The Board shall consider not only the evidence that the candidate presents in support of his application but also other relevant evidence as it may deem proper;
  2. Determine the physical fitness of the applicant through a competent physician elected by the Board; and

  3. Prescribe, prepare and supervise theoretical and practical professional examinations for Masters, Mates, Patrons, Marine and Motor Engineers.

SEC. 6. Qualifications for Examiners.

(a) Qualifications for membership to the Board of Examiners for Deck Officers shall be as follows:

    1. Must have at least navigated as Master of a seagoing vessel for five years and at least an aggregate total of fifteen years of practice as a Marine Officer;
    2. Must be endorsed by any marine professional organization whose membership is duly licensed and registered Marine Officers;
    3. Is not connected directly or indirectly with any private school, college or university engaged in the training of Deck Officers for at least two years prior to application for membership, nor shall have pecuniary interest in such school, college or university.

(b) Qualifications for membership to the Board of Examiners for Marine Engineers shall be as follows:

  1. Must have at least navigated as chief engineer for five years and at least an aggregate total of fifteen years of practice as a Marine Engineer;
  2. Must be endorsed by any marine professional organization whose membership is duly licensed and registered marine officers;
  3. Is not connected directly or indirectly with any school, college or university engaged in the training of marine engineers for at least two years prior to application for membership, nor shall have pecuniary interest in such school, college or university.

SEC. 7. Terms of Office and Compensation. — Members of the Board of Examiners for Marine Officers shall serve their terms of office for a period of three years from the effectivity of their appointment, such appointment being subject to existing vacancy in the Board at any time.

The Chairman and Members of the Board shall receive a compensation of fifteen pesos for each candidate examined.

The Chairman and Members of the Board shall further receive a compensation of five pesos for each license issued by the Board of Examiners and per diem of ten pesos for each meeting while conducting administrative investigations.

SEC. 8. Date of Examination.— The Board of Examiners for Marine Officers shall conduct two examinations in a year, one in the City of Manila, on the last week of January, and another in Cebu or Iloilo, alternately, on the last week of July: Provided, however, That if conditions warrant, the Board may, upon approval of the Office of the President consider conducting examination in other places.

SEC. 9. Examination Rating. — An examinee having obtained a general weighted average of seventy-five per cent or above with no rating below 60% in any subject: Provided, however, That any examinee failing to get the general weighted average of seventy-five per cent shall be required to take a re-examination in all the subjects prescribed by the Board.

SEC. 10. Registration and Issuance. — All successful candidates shall register in the office of the Board of Examiners after payment of the required and prescribed fees by the Board: Provided, however, That no certificate and license shall be issued to any candidate who has been convicted of any criminal offense involving moral turpitude, immorality and dishonorable conduct and those of unsound mind.

SEC. 11. Fees. — AH applications for examination must be filed with the Office of the Board of Examiners at the following fees:

Master Mariner and Chief Marine Engineer

P100.00
 

Chief Mate, 2nd Marine Engineer and Major Patron

75.00
 

2nd Mate and Third Marine Engineer

50.00
 

3rd Mate and Fourth Marine Engineer

50.00
 
Minor Patrons and Motor Engineers
50.00
 

SEC. 12. The successful examinee or candidate for the Board Examination must pay his corresponding fees for licenses at the following rate:

Master Mariner and Chief Marine Engineer

P50.00
 

Chief Mate, 2nd Marine Engineer and Major Patron

40.00
 

2nd Mate and Third Marine Engineer

30.00
 

3rd Mate and Fourth Marine Engineer

30.00
 
Minor Patrons and Motor Engineers
30.00
 

SEC. 13. The licenses for Deck Officers shall be classified as:

  1. Unlimited — competency to command and/or navigate merchant marine vessels of any gross tons, upon the waters of any sea or ocean.
  2. Limited (foreign) — competency to command and/or navigate merchant marine vessels of any gross tons, registered for foreign trade only.
  3. Limited (coastwise) — competency to command and/or navigate merchant marine vessels of any gross tons, registered for the coastwise trade only.
  4. Restricted (Major) — competency to command and/or navigate merchant marine vessels of not more than two hundred fifty gross tons in a particular water of the Philippines.
  5. Restricted (bay, lake, river or harbor) — competency to command and/or navigate
    vessels of not more than twenty gross tons in a particular bay, lake, river or harbor in the Philippines.

SEC. 14. The licenses for Deck Officers shall be classified as:

  1. Unlimited — Competency as Marine Engineer on vessels of any tonnage propelled
    by any machinery, upon waters of any sea or ocean.
  2. Limited (motor) — competency as Motor Engineer on vessels of small tonnage
    propelled by motor engine of not more than two hundred fifty B.H.P.

SEC. 15. Admission Requirements for Examination. — No person shall be qualified for examination us a marine officer unless he is:

  1. Male;
  2. Citizen of the Philippines;
  3. At least twenty-one years of age;
  4. Mentally sound and physically fit with normal color vision perception, as certified by a competent government physician; and

  5. Of good moral character.

SEC. 16. Requirements for Deck Officers. —

  1. Master Mariner. — Applicant must be a holder of a Chief Mate license who has served on merchant marine vessels of not less than two hundred fifty gross tons as Chief Mate for a period of two years, six months of which must be on merchant marine vessels registered for the foreign trade and at least six months on merchant marine vessels registered for the coastwise trade: Provided, however, That if he has registered for the coastwise trade only, he can still qualify for a Master Marine license but limited to merchant marine vessels on coastwise trade, until such time when he will have served the required six months as Chief Mate on merchant marine vessels registered for the foreign trade, then his Master Mariner license (limited) shall automatically be changed to Master Mariner license (unlimited) without examination, and upon recommendation and presentation of certificate of service from the Masters of such vessels: Provided, further, That if he has served two years as Chief Mate on merchant marine vessels registered for the foreign trade only, he can still qualify for a Master Mariner license but limited to merchant marine vessels on foreign trade, until such time when he will have served six months as Chief Mate on merchant marine vessels registered for the coastwise trade, then his Master Marine License (limited) shall automatically be changed to Master Marine license (unlimited) without examination, and upon recommendation and presentation of a certificate of service from the Master of such vessel.
  2. Chief Mate — Applicant must be a holder of Second Mate license who has served on merchant marine vessels of not less than two hundred fifty gross tons as Second Mate, for a period of one year, four months of which must be on merchant marine vessels registered for the foreign trade and ax least four months on merchant marine vessels registered for the coastwise trade: Provided, however, That if he has served one year as Second Mate on merchant marine vessels registered for the coastwise trade only, he can still qualify for a Chief Mate's license but limited to merchant marine vessels on coastwise trade, until such time when he will have served the required four months as Second Mate on Merchant Marine vessels registered for the foreign trade, then his Chief Mate license (unlimited) without examination, and upon recommendation and presentation of a certificate of service from the Master of such vessel.
  3. Second Mate. — Applicant must be a holder of Third Mate license who has served on merchant marine vessels of not less than two hundred fifty gross tons as Third Mate, for a period of one year with at least four months on merchant marine vessels registered for the foreign trade and at least four months on merchant marine vessels registered for the coastwise: Provided, however, That if he has served one year as Third Mate on merchant marine vessels registered for the coastwise trade only, he can still qualify for a Second Mate's license but limited to merchant marine vessels on coastwise trade, until such time when he will have served the required four months as Third Mate on Merchant marine vessels registered for the foreign trade, then his Second Mate license (limited) shall automatically be changed to Second Mate license (unlimited) without examination, and upon recommendation and presentation of a certificate of service from the Master of such vessel: Provided, further, That if he has served one year as Third Mate on merchant marine vessels registered for the foreign trade only, he can still qualify for a Second Mate's license but limited to merchant, marine vessels on foreign trade, until such time when he will have served the required four months as Third Mate on Merchant marine vessels registered for coastwise trade, then his Second Mate license (limited) shall automatically be changed to Second Mate license (unlimited) without examination, and upon recommendation and presentation of a certificate of service from the Master of such vessel.
  4. Third Mate. — Applicant must be a holder of a degree of Bachelor of Science in Marine Transportation, major in Navigation and Seamanship, after completion of a nautical curriculum of academic and theoretical studies, and eighteen months of practical apprenticeship which must be served with at least four months on merchant marine vessels of not less than two hundred fifty gross tons registered for foreign trade, and at least four months on merchant marine vessels of not less than two hundred fifty gross tons registered for coastwise trade, such apprenticeship to be under the direct supervision of a permanent staff of the institution assigned solely for such purpose.
  5. Major Patron. — An applicant for Patron in major coastwise trade shall be at least twenty-five years of age and shall produce a certificate showing that he has passed high school or its equivalent in an officially recognized school and that he has navigated on a coastwise or a high sea vessel as boatswain, quartermaster, sailor or apprentice mate on a merchant marine vessel of not less than two hundred fifty gross tons for a period of at least ten years, or that he has navigated as minor patron for at least five years.
  6. Minor Patron. — An applicant for certificate of Patron in the Minor coastwise trade shall not be less than twenty-five years of age and shall produce satisfactory evidence showing that he has passed high school or its equivalent in an officially recognized school and that he has navigated on a coastwise or high sea vessel of thirty gross tons or over a period of not less than five years as boatswain, or quarter-master or sailor.
  7. Bay, lake, river or harbor Patron. — An applicant for a certificate as Patron for bay, lake, river or harbor shall be at least twenty-five years of age and shall produce satisfactory evidence showing that he has passed high school or its equivalent in an officially recognized school, and that he has navigated on board a vessel or watercraft of three gross tons and above for a period of not less than five years as seaman or quartermaster.

SEC. 17. Engine Officers. —

  1. Chief Marine Engineer.— An applicant for certificate of Chief Marine Engineer shall not be less than twenty-five years of age and shall produce satisfactory evidence showing that he has passed Marine Engineering schools or its equivalent in an officially recognized school and that he has navigated as second engineer for a period of not less than two years: Provided, further, That a certificate of service is issued to the Chief Engineer and Master of the vessel and duly authenticated by the ship owner or by the ship representative of the vessel.
  2. Second Marine Engineer. — Applicant must be a holder of Third Engineer license who has served on vessels of not less than two hundred fifty B.H.P. as Third Engineer for a period of one year on steam or motor vessel: Provided, further, That a certificate of service is issued by the Chief Engineer and Master of the vessel and duly authenticated by the ship owner or by the ship representative of the vessel.
  3. Third Marine Engineer. — Applicant must be a holder of Fourth Engineer license who has served on vessels of not less than two hundred fifty IHP as Fourth Engineer for a period of one year on steam or motor vessel Provided, further, That a certificate of service is issued by the Chief Engineer and Master of the vessel and duly authenticated by the ship owner or by the ship representative of the vessel.
  4. Fourth Marine Engineer. — An applicant must be at least a second year high school, recognized by the Government, having served for at least five years as apprentice engineer, oiler, or machinist on vessel propelled by motor or steam engines of not less than two hundred fifty BHP. Under this category, he must pass through a review class before admitted to take examinations: Provided, however, That if the applicant is a marine engineer graduate, of a recognized school, he must have at least served two years as apprentice engineer, oiler or machinist: Provided, further. That a certificate of service is issued by the Chief Engineer and Master of the vessel and duly authenticated by the ship owner or by the ship representative of the vessel.
  5. Motor Engineer. — An applicant shall be at least twenty-one years of age, a graduate of elementary school and shall produce satisfactory evidence showing that he has served as oiler, machinist, or apprentice motor engineer on motor vessel for at least five years.

SEC. 18. Administrative Investigation. In addition to the functions provided for in the preceding sections, the Board of Engineers for both Deck and Engine Officers shall perform the following duties:

  1. To study the conditions affecting the practice of the marine profession in all parts of the Philippines.
  2. To exercise the powers conferred upon it by this article to maintain the ethical and professional standards of the marine profession.
  3. To conduct the necessary administrative proceedings against any erring practitioner.
  4. To promulgate such rules of conduct or Code of Ethics for a harmonious performance of the duties and obligations of every practitioner. The manner of proceedings for investigation may be promulgated by the Board: Provided, That the investigation and results thereof are completed as soon as practicable.

SEC. 19. Grounds for Proceedings Against a Certified Marine Officer. — Any of the following shall be sufficient grounds for proceedings against a certified and licensed marine officer:

  1. Conviction by a court of competent jurisdiction of any criminal offense involving moral turpitude;
  2. Immoral or dishonorable conduct;
  3. Insanity;
  4. Fraund in the acquisition of the certificate of registration;
  5. Gross negligence or incompetence in the practice of his profession;
  6. Addiction to alcoholic beverages or to any habit-forming drugs rendering him incompetent to practice his profession;
  7. False or extravagant or unethical advertisement in which other things than his name, profession, limitation or practice, office and home address are mentioned; and
  8. Violation of any provision of the Code of Ethics promulgated by the Board of Marine Engineers.

SEC. 20. Rights of Respondents. —The respondent certified merchant marine officer shall be entitled to be represented by counsel, to have a speedy and public hearing and to confront and to cross-examine witnesses against him.

SEC. 21. Appeal from Judgment. —The decision of the Board of Examiners shall become final thirty days alter receipt by the respondent of a copy of the decision, unless, during the same period, he has appealed to the President of the Philippines, whose decision then, shall be final.

SEC. 22. Reinstatement. — After five years, the Marine Board of Examiners may order the reinstatement of any certified marine officer, whose certificate of registration has been revoked if the respondent, during this period has acted in an exemplary manner and has not committed by illegal, immoral or dishonorable act.

SEC. 23. Limitation on the Practice of the Marine Profession. — All marine licenses for Masters, Mates, Patrons, issued prior to the enactment of this law shall retain the same condition mentioned therein: Provided, however, That subsequent upgrading of such license are in accordance with the provision stated therein.

The provisions of subsection (d), Section sixteen and subsection (d), Section seventeen of this Act shall not prejudice all students already enrolled in their respective courses to qualify them for their Third Mate and Fourth Engineer license examinations, respectively, after the required shipboard apprenticeship: Provided, however, That after five (5) years from the approval of this Act, examinees for the Fourth Marine Engineers must be a graduate of the Marine Engineering School or its equivalent degree and has served for at least two years as apprentice engineer oiler or machinist after graduation.

All licenses for chief, second, third and fourth motor engineer, issued prior to the enactment of this law must be registered as marine engineer and must renew their licenses as marine engineer with the Board and pay the corresponding fees provided in Section twelve of this Act.

All licenses for bay, river, lake and harbor engineers issued prior to the enactment of this law shall register as motor engineer and must renew their licenses as motor engineer and pay the corresponding fees for license as provided in Section twelve of this Act.

SEC. 24. Repealing Clause. — All laws, parts of laws, orders or regulations, inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.

SEC. 25. Effectivity. — This Decree shall take effect immediately.

Done in the City of Manila, this 13th day of January, in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and seventy-three.

 

(Sgd.) FERDINAND E. MARCOS
President
Republic of the Philippines

   

 

By the President:  
 

(Sgd.) ALEJANDRO MELCHOR  
  Executive Secretary

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