Philippine Merchant Marine Academy

Satellite picture of the campus of the Philippine Merchant Marine Academy in San Narciso, Zambales

One of the lesser-known industries in which Filipinos dominate globally is the seafaring industry. According to this GMA News article, the Philippines accounts for 28% of the world’s shipping crew with about 250,000 officers and crew members. In a distant second is the whole Indian subcontinent which only has 100,000 people employed in the industry. Filipinos so dominate the crew members of the world’s ships that whenever a ship or tanker anywhere capsizes or is overrun by pirates, expect that Filipinos will be affected. In addition, Filipino seafarers remit about $1 billion to the country, annually. Future projections indicate that there will be a big rise in demand for seafarers and the Philippines is trying to keep up with the demand.

Among the more than 100 schools in the country that offer degrees in B.S. Marine Transportation or B.S. Marine Engineering, it is the Philippine Merchant Marine Academy (PMMA), whose campus is located in San Narciso, Zambales, is I think the most reputable in the country. This 188-year-old institution was created by a Spanish Royal Decree on January 1, 1820 and was named the Escuela Nautica de Manila with its campus inside Intramuros in Manila. The American colonial government renamed it as the Nautical School of the Philippine Islands and then as the Philippine Nautical School before gaining its present name under Republic Act No. 3680 in 1963.

PMMA cadets doing the morning colors. Photo by MPR Laurilla. (PD)

Interestingly, despite being a school that produces graduates mostly hired in the private sector, the PMMA has a military-style education reminiscent of the Philippine Military Academy. Because of this, PMMA graduates are often directly hired as ship officers in commercial vessels and are automatic reserve officers in the Philippine Navy and the Philippine Coast Guard.

But all is not well in this maritime educational institution. The biggest blow to PMMA’s reputation was when it failed the Commission on Higher Education’s 2001 accreditation of the 1995 International Convention on Seafarers’ Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW ’95) (see news article). The PMMA has since undergone efforts, with the help of the alumni association, to improve the standing of the Academy.

To learn more about the PMMA and view a ton of pictures, see the Wikipedia article.
And to read more about the Filipino seafarers, read this 4-year-old PCIJ feature article.

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Posted on
January 7, 2008
Filed under
Central LuzonSchools / Colleges / Universities
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  1. Al Romero wrote on April 30, 2009 @ 08:51PM

    Good Day to All,

    I have been reading most of the comments inquiring about the PMMA. Just as a brief note, PMMA is one of 4 government service Academies in the Philippines (Philippine Military Academy, Philippine Merchant Marine Academy, Philippine National Police Academy, and Philippine Air Force Flying School). All students of these Academies mentioned are scholars and fully subsidized by the Government of the Philippines. Admission requirements are strict, and candidates must undergo several screening process before being appointed as a Midshipman. PMMA has a quasi-military structure of curriculum and training, and Midshipmen are required to live in campus during their stint in the Academy.

    The PMMA offers four year residency that leads to Bachelor of Science degrees in Marine Transportation and Marine Engineering. Graduates of the Academy are Automatically commissioned as Ensigns in the Philippine Navy and Philippine Coast Guard, and Licensed as Merchant Marine officers that assures employment after graduation as Merchant Marine Officers or Naval Officers.

    For more information, please visit PMMA website at

    Capt. A. Romero, Master Mariner, MBAPMMA Class’92
    Director, Quality Control and Training
    Bureau of Maritime Affairs
    Liberian International Ship and Corporate Registry
    Vienna, Virginia, USA

  2. jerson e. resulta wrote on February 22, 2010 @ 02:16PM

    how much is the tution fee of th B.S marine transportation to your school?

  3. Eddie J. Palma Jr. wrote on March 5, 2010 @ 03:25PM

    please give me the complete details about PMA.thank you so much.

  4. ashwani wrote on May 19, 2010 @ 07:27PM

    Hi, I am India into the business of education abroad, I get a lot of enquiries about merchant studies abroad, If you any programmes to be offered for indian students pleae reply.


  5. Arhlene wrote on August 4, 2010 @ 03:57PM

    What are the qualifications of applicants?

  6. juliet b. pontino wrote on November 3, 2010 @ 06:34AM

    Dear Sir:
    I have read some profile of your school and we congratulate you being one of the best marine school in out country. I am a mother of my graduating son this March 2011 and the only one sending them to school. My son wants to enrol in your school after his graduation. In view thereof, I am interested to ask how will he apply to your school in order for my son to know what he will do after graduation.
    Hope to hear from you. Pls send reply at my email or in contact me in my mobile no. +639213466209
    Thank you very much.
    Very truly yours,
    juliet b. pontino

  7. julian wrote on November 16, 2010 @ 11:41PM

    @ jerson:no tuition fee at PMMA, stay in so no need for board and lodging and also the food.

  8. Alicia Dolan wrote on December 24, 2010 @ 08:32AM

    To PMMA-

    My nephew is graduating this year. He is interested in Marine Engineering field. Your school has a very good reputation and I believe he will be a good candidate.

    Please let me know of what your requirements, entrance exams, academic qualification for him to get accepted.

    I look forward to hear from you.


    Alicia Dolan

  9. joel emerson v teves wrote on February 19, 2011 @ 10:20PM

    sir, i was an ex-cadet from the Institute and is currently employed as a soldier of the PAF. i am still applying for the confirmation of my miltary services with PMMA to PAF for retirement purposes. i just want to inquire about any written AUTHORITY that Graduates of the Academy are Automatically commissioned as Ensigns in the Philippine Navy and Philippine Coast Guard, and Licensed as Merchant Marine officers that assures employment after graduation as Merchant Marine Officers or Naval Officers. as such, said authority will be very beneficial for those who were also former cadets and are currently applying for the same purpose. For utmost consideration. TEVES-2001

  10. al wrote on April 13, 2011 @ 01:01AM

    sir, does PMMA accept late enrollees?
    I would like to enroll this coming school year but it seems that the entrance exam had already concluded last september 2010. Can I still take the exam this month?

  11. Louise wrote on April 23, 2011 @ 06:15PM

    sir, is it true that we need to pay 20k for the uniform? and another payment for medicals? not including the payment for entrance examination.. thank you sir.

  12. ij frank dango wrote on August 2, 2011 @ 11:57PM

    i want to take an application form of the P.M.M.A

  13. Lucky A. Velasco wrote on August 11, 2011 @ 11:00PM

    I’ll be graduating comes march 2012 and I’m interested to take the course of BSMarE. Pls inform me of the ff:
    1. The entrance exam sched nd requirements.
    2. Tuition fees/sem. t.y

  14. Shinette wrote on August 15, 2011 @ 12:15AM

    My son is very much interested to enter PMMA. He will turn 16 y.o. by january 2012, and will soon be graduating from high school on march 2012. will he qualify for the PMMA Entrance examination? and when will be the scheduled entrance exam?

  15. Amante L. Tayaban wrote on August 15, 2011 @ 08:32PM

    I Amante Tayaban is very much interested to enter PMMA. I am now 17 y.o. this coming Nov. 25 2011 and will soon be graduating from high school on march 2012. Can I know the PMMA Entrance examination? and when will be the scheduled entrance exam?

  16. joseph nyl wrote on January 23, 2012 @ 03:33AM

    sir kailan po enrollment niyo ngayng 2012.. at magkanu po ang bayad tnxu po..plss do reply.. godbless…u po

  17. Ella wrote on March 7, 2012 @ 03:18PM

    Greeting’s My brother want to enroll to PMMA taking BS in marine engineering ? me il know when is the enrollment this coming school year 2012? And pls. can you give me the info about the following ? 1.The entrance exam schedule and requirement 2.Tuition fees per sem
    Thanks alot ,

  18. Nixrokr wrote on March 10, 2012 @ 07:03PM

    @Ella, entrance exam for pmma is held every last week of september. If he passed, he will take the neuro exam, the medical exam then the physical training. Visit the site for more info. (

  19. Shalimar wrote on April 2, 2012 @ 09:44PM

    Im a fresh graduate of my High School sy 2011-2012 and im interested in PMA, when we will be the schedule of entrance exam?

    thank you …. <— my email

    My addresss, Cabadbaran Agusan del Norte Mindanao

  20. Joseph wrote on April 5, 2012 @ 02:58PM

    Sir isa po ako sa nais na pumasok sa inyong school ngunit ako’y 5 ft. 1inc. lang pwede pa rin po ba ako sa inyong sshool…….sana po pumayag kayo nais k talagang mag-aral sa inyong school


  21. pascua johnrey b. wrote on April 9, 2012 @ 07:10PM

    gud pm po sir & man nais ko pong makapag aral sa inyong pa-aralan 5.ft/3.inch, po ako, ma-aare po ba akong makapasok sa inyong school pangarap ko pong makapag aral sa inyong school marameng salamat po gud bless. . . .?

  22. john rey b. pascua wrote on April 10, 2012 @ 07:42PM

    sir im so intested in pmma i am 5.ft 3.icnh……pwd po b ako dis school ito po nu ko pwdi po ba tx nyo ako sa no na ito thankz po 09381693798

  23. VON JOVIE wrote on May 13, 2012 @ 02:27AM

    sir and ma’am , nais ko po sanang makapag aral sa inyong paaralan , maari po bang makakuha ng entrace exam saan po ba ang mga outlet na malapit dito po sa manila para makapag take ng exam ? dahil gusto ko po talga makapag aral sa inyong paaralan. ako po ay may taas na 5’6 at highschool graduate po ako at may idad na 16 yr old . maari po bang malaman kung paano po makakakuha ng entrace exam ? kailan po ba makakakuha ng entrance exam ngayong 2012 . gusto ko po sanang makakuha ng BS MARINE ENGEENIRING upang makatulong po sa aking magulang dahil hindi na nila kaya ang pag papaaral sa akin . maraming maraming salamat po . yahoomail ko po yan . maraming salamat po ulit. god bless .
  24. John Albert wrote on June 9, 2012 @ 01:29PM

    good morning maam/sir! i am currently 4th year high school student SY 2012-2013, i just want to know the date and place where examination be held this year 2012? hoping for your response to my request? thank You and Good Day!!

  25. paul john flores wrote on June 13, 2012 @ 08:59PM

    sir/mam.. pwd po bang mlaman kung meun babyadan sa pmma o wla.. at gusto ko pong magaral jan e. oh kya kontakn neu nlng po ako eto po cp number ko 09161608172 .. slmat po..

  26. Christian wrote on August 10, 2013 @ 10:34AM

    Sir what if the philippine will be taken off from white list of IMO??

    even Pmma will be affected??

    Pano po yon mgaaral lng ako sa wala??

  27. ani wrote on February 5, 2014 @ 01:48PM

    Please note to everybody who wants to join the PMMA. Meron na tuition fee ngayon, 100,000.00 pesos per year (2 semesters). Nakapagtataka!!! The best attraction is to be a scholar, no tuition fee. Better decide to go to other schools if this is the case. Maraming magandang maritime private schools ngayon. The legend of PMMA is now slowly vanishing…

  28. ron reuben PMMA Class 2013 wrote on March 14, 2014 @ 01:09AM

    good day to all,
    i just want to correct na wala pong tuition fee ang PMMA. yung nagpost po about sa tuition fee isa lang yan sa mga NAIINGGIT o gusto manira sa reputasyon ng academy. Kung may tuition fee dun hindi na yun academy, university na yun. si president pa nga ang guest speaker pag graduation tapos may tuition fee?? hahaha

    visit PMMA.EDU.PH of pwede din tignan sa Facebook page search niyo lang po yung PMMA

  29. Geo_09 wrote on May 28, 2014 @ 05:48AM

    Good day to all,

    Sa lahat po n gustong pumasok sa PMMA pumasok na po at mg-enroll. Be sure enough na talagang gusto mong maging graduate ng PMMA and strong enough to face challenges na m encounter nyo. Hindi po katulad ng private school at universities ang papasukan ninyo. Reminder lang po yan sa mga gustong pumasok.

    Sa mga gusto namang manira s PMMA, go ahead give your best shot….. wala na bang iba yan lang? We will respect your comments good or bad regarding sa PMMA. At pag tapos na kayo sa ginagawa ninyo, try nyo pumasok kahit Probi lang, para lang naman malaman nyo na hindi kami nagpkahirap, nag sakripisyo, nagtiis, at nagtapos sa PMMA para lang baboyin nyo.

    Mas mainam harapan ninyo sabihin sa isang graduate (hindi sa cadet) ang mga sama ng loob ninyo sa PMMA.
    Hindi yung sa internet lang kayo bumabanat. Walk the Talk po sana.

    Maraming salamat po,

    “Tatag-Katig PMMA Class of 2009”

  30. edmund wrote on August 6, 2014 @ 07:57PM

    pls contact us… how to get a application form… 09496182529 o 09199672556.. or in my fb account..

  31. christian yuan nario wrote on March 17, 2015 @ 01:33PM

    gud afternoon sir/mam, i want to enroll to your school.
    i want u to inform me what are the all requirements
    that i need to compile..
    im very interested to enroll to your school with my friend.
    please n0tify me today.
    im christian yuan nario and 16 yrs old.
    this is my contact number.
    thank u! godbless

  32. carlo wrote on April 5, 2015 @ 12:27PM

    how much is the tuition i want to be a philippine navy

  33. Richie Alorro wrote on July 5, 2015 @ 01:03PM

    Good Day Gentlemen.

    Both my son and I, have great interest for him to be a Ship Navigator someday. He is still very young po. Papasok palang po ng highschool by next year. I would like to get some idea po, if which school, a college or university you would best recommend po for him to take his highschool years in prep for PMMA. Im sure you will not endorse any or maybe not through this site. But will greatly appreciate po if you could give us an idea.

    Please doe reply sir, through my email add Thank you evry much, and more power to PMMA!!!

    God Bless…

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