The Visayan Maritime Academy was founded by former Ambassador Roberto S. Benedicto in 1974, the only school in the Visayas with its own shipping company and eventually became one of the TOP 10 MARITIME SCHOOLS in the country. Its program offering was limited to Associate in Nautical Science and Marine Engineering. The Academy temporarily ceased operations in 1985-86 and re-opened in 1987 under the management of Asian Mari-Tech Development Corporation (AMTDC).
In June 1988, VMA was included in the TOP TEN SCHOOLS offering maritime education per results of survey conducted by the Philippine Association of Maritime Institutions (PAMI) in cooperation with the Department of Education, Culture and Sports (DECS) and the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA).
Since then, the Board of Trustees has endeavored to meet the IMO standards through the requirements imposed by the Commission of Higher Education (CHED) for the school and the Maritime Training Council (MTC) and the Maritime Industry Authority for the training center.