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Getting your COP at the MARINA

Info as of February 2016

As of this writing, “The MARINA enforces strict rules for personal appearance. All seafarers… must appear physically at the MARINA… for image capturing.”

So the Agency tells me to visit the Training Center where I did my BT Refresher to get a Training Completion and Records of Assessment (TCROA) which I will later need in applying for a Certificate of Proficiency (COP) at the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA).

By the way, if you have no idea what I’m talking about here, you are reading the wrong web page. Information shared here is meant for Filipino seafarers. Just saying. Wouldn’t want you to waste your precious time.

Anyway…


Step 1 – TCROA et al

So, at the Training Center…

First, I needed to have the photocopies of my 2 training certificates (i.e. BT and BTI) Certified as True Copies and get copies of my training attendance a.k.a. Enrollment Report right there at the training center. I paid Php40. And for the TCROA, I paid Php200.

I also had to get a Certificate of Sea Service from the Agency. They don’t charge anything for that. Agencies aren’t supposed to take any money from crew. Remember that.


Step 2 – Schedule an Appointment with MARINA

Now, online…

I went to marina.gov.ph and found a link to marinaappointment.com/marina where you can set an appointment. You will also find there instructions on what you need to bring and what you’ll need to do once you get to the MARINA.

DOCUMENTARY REQUIREMENTS
FOR THE ISSUANCE OF CERTIFICATE OF PROFICIENCY

Basic Training (BT)
1. Certified True Copy of Training Completion and Records of Assessment (TCROA) in BT
2. Certified True Copy of Enrollment Report
3. Photocopy of Training Certificate issued

Source: http://marinaappointment.com/marina/

FEES AND CHARGES (COP)
Regular Fee – P 200.00
Expedite Fee – P 400.00

Source: http://marinaappointment.com/marina/

I chose to have my appointment with the MARINA office at T. M. Kalaw Street corner Taft Avenue in Manila. If you remember the old Masagana store that is now no more (and is now Save More), that’s the one.

The instructions will tell you to have photocopies of pages from your seamans book (SIRB). If your SIRB is new with only one entry, photocopy your old SIRB as well. Better to be sure than be inconvenienced later.

In my case, I didn’t do that and didn’t bring my old SIRB. But I did have my passport with me and the Evaluator told me go have a page from my passport photocopied. So I got delayed because I had to go to another floor to have it photocopied. You really don’t want the hassle. So be prepared.


Step 3 – MARINA Appointment

Don’t forget your MARINA appointment. You’re supposed to be there 30 minutes before the time that you selected for your appointment — which is to say that if you selected 17:00 as your appointment then you should be there 16:30. Capisce?

Although the instructions on the website will tell you to

  • proceed to the 7th floor of the building,
  • show your Documents and your printed Application Form to the appointment counter for verification
  • and get a queue number,

well…

Proceed to…

… not the 7th floor!

Crew with online appointments are supposed to proceed to the 6th floor. (Upon reaching the 6th floor via the escalators or stairs, go right through the first door, then turn right and go up a few steps to where they are processing applications. You’ll see that the restrooms are right next to those few steps. Yup, that’s the right place.)

Document check and queue number… Not.

Now, upon entering that area where they process applications, there was nobody at the door (or the so-called “appointment counter”) to check my documents, and I didn’t see where one might grab a queue number. No worries. I just asked the security guard wandering about the place, and he directed me to a desk labeled “Online Appointments” — which is actually the Evaluation part of the process.

The steps/desks are properly labeled and the sequence is self-explanatory, but it’s always a good idea to ask so that you don’t waste time waiting, thinking that you have to queue behind all those crew that you see already sitting there.

COP Step 1 – Evaluation

It’s good to have an online appointment and it’s good to come at the right time.

It’s also nice being a girl. Females and senior citizens get priority. 🙂

So as soon as the staff was done with the crew she was serving when I arrived, she accommodated me next. 😉

COP Step 2 – Payment

After the Evaluation step is Payment. The cashier will expect you to already cut/tear your Application Form along the two dotted lines. Meaning, you will have a total of 3 pieces from that one Application Form.

I paid Php200. If you want it expedited, you’ll pay Php400.

But wait. That’s not all…

Before proceeding to Step 3 Image Capture, you must already have a long brown envelope (you can bring your own) and a documentary stamp, which you can both purchase just down those few steps. Remember the steps near the restrooms? Don’t get lost. It’s not far. You’ll still be on the 6th floor. The brown envelope cost me Php10 and for the documentary stamp I paid Php50.

Note that the cashier will ask if it’s your first time to get a COP. Then she’ll charge you Php25 for the documentary stamp and Php25 for the uniform rental for the Image Capture part of the process.

I always hate having to rent their uniform. What’s wrong with my own clothes?

And why couldn’t they just say on the website that you should bring a long brown envelope?

Hello??

Anywayz…

COP Step 3 – Image Capture

After that, it’s time to bring everything to Step 3. You will be asked to write your name on the upper left corner of the brown envelope.

After my mugshot, the staff handed me my claim stub. You know the middle part of your Application Form which you tore/cut into 3 parts? That’s the one — the Acknowledgement portion.

I was there February 19 and my claim stub says February 26 for pickup.


To summarize, here are the actual steps for COP:

  • Step 1 = Evaluation
  • Step 2 = Payment
  • Step 3 = Image Capture

Overall, not a painful process. I was out of there in about half an hour. Not bad. 🙂

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