History: Page 3 of 7

            Visayan Maritime Academy, as it opens for school year 1997-1998, offered new courses such as BSHRM, BS Tourism, and BS Com Sci. in response to the demand of the new millennium and the global competitiveness, VMA also offered BS Mechanical and Electrical with Marine Technology.

            The American Bureau of Shipping, a Texas based accrediting body, issued the ISO 9002 certification to the Visayan Maritime Academy Training Center on August 15, 1999. The accreditation spoke of VMA’s adherence to its Quality Standards System designed to meet that of the international.

            On October 2, 1999, VMA has substantially complied with the guidelines of the CHED based on the international standards required by the International Maritime Organization. The academy obtained a rating of 98.2% for BSMT and a rating of 98.45% for BSME.

            It was November 25,1999, when three Wheelhouse staff, namely; Mary Grace Estilo, Albert Veloria, and Joseph Avenido, together with their adviser, Mrs. Merla Magallona Raz, joined the 1999 Regional College Press Conference and Awards at Sarabia Manor, Iloilo City. VMA again illuminated during the occasion when the Wheelhouse won 3rd Place in the Best cover Design, with the issue, “Full Speed Ahead”.

    It was also in 1999 when the school acquired its latest technological teaching aids: the Poseidon Simulator, the Global Distress Signaling System and the Bridge Simulator.

    In this year, the Academy President, Madam Elizabeth Orola Salabas, was selected, for the 4thtime, as Vice President for Visayas and Mindanao of PAMTCI AND PAMI.

    In April 2000, the Inter-Island Foundation Training Center (ISFTC), which is a joint program of MARINA Regional Office and the government of Norway, turned over some equipment to VMATC for the purpose of upgrading the training courses. These include the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) the International Maritime Satellite Communication, the Radar Simulator, the automatic Radar Plotting Aids (ARPA), ship Restricted Radio-Telephone Operator and Meteorology. It was also this year, Specifically June 5, 2000, when the Norwegian Maritime Directorate accredited the Academy. On November 4, 2000, we passed the accreditation, with a score of 99.6% for the Associate in Marine Transportation and 96.95% for Associate in Marine Engineering.

            During year 2000, Madam Elizabeth Orola Salabas, was selected as the new Chairperson of the inter-island Seafarers Foundation Inc. (ISF) and awarded the “Gintong Sikap Award”, given by the Federation of the Filipino Consumers, Inc. She was also recognized as the “Woman of the Year” by the New Life in Family Development of Youth Council in Manila. At the same time, the grand matriarch of the Orola family, Mrs. Remedios Orola, was awarded as Outstanding Mother of the Year 2000, given by the National Federation of Women’s Clubs of the Philippines. Honorable John Orola Jr., Congressman of the Lone District of Bacolod, was also awarded as the Outstanding Neophyte Congressman for 1999, by

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