Press Release
May 3, 2008

Zubiri launches maritime education scholarship program

Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri launches a P135-Million Study Now-Pay Later (SNPL) Scholarship program for an initial 300 enrollees in maritime education in one of the pioneer schools in the Visayas.

"Filipinos are very much in demand. Globalization has heightened increased trade and maritime transport needs to the extent that the industry needs at least 50,000 new maritime officers in the next seven years," Zubiri said.

"Maritime powers in Europe , especially the Scandinavian countries who have extensive cargo, fishing and cruise fleets can barely fill their demand for fully-trained officers and crew." Three companies with a combined fleet of 1,000 ships have inked respective Memorandum of Agreement with the SWU: Centrophil Shipping, Hamonia Shipping and Univan Shipping.

"The scholars will enjoy guaranteed employment upon graduation," Zubiri assured applicants.

Zubiri enjoins students to consider a maritime career through the Southwestern University (SWU) scholarship program. The Zubiri SNPL has three components, as follows: adopt-a-scholar wherein beneficiaries after paying off their loans will sponsor at least one scholar in return; feeder schools wherein the SWU, the Development Bank of the Philippines, shipping and manning companies create a special curriculum and set up high schools preparatory to maritime college education; and seed money wherein principal and interest collection shall be funneled back to the program.

School support includes school and program fees, uniform, books, lodging, food, laundry and healthcare. The application period has been extended until May 15.


  1. Not more than 21 years of age;

  2. Weighted average grade of 85% in 4th year for high school graduates, or 2.5 or better in the last semester for college transferees;

  3. Not more than P150,000 gross annual income of parents / guardians;

  4. Documentary requirements: NSO-issued Birth Certificate, latest Income Tax Return, high school diploma / certificate of grades for the last semester.

Screening and test schedules:

In Mindanao: Zamboanga, May 16 & 17; Davao , May 13 & 14; and Cagayan de Oro, May 10 & 11. In Visayas: Bacolod , May 10 & 11; Bohol, May 16 & 17; Tacloban, May 13 & 14; and Cebu , everyday.

Students/cadets will spend their first 3 years on campus. On the fourth year, training will continue on board foreign vessels and students will receive a monthly allowance from $300-500, the current standard rate. After the apprenticeship, they will return on campus to conclude their training and prepare for the board exam.

Zubiri partnered with the Cebu-based Southwestern University (SWU). From its original offering of medical courses, the SWU now offers 50 fields of specialization taught by over 500 teachers. Its average enrollment is 8,000 per school year.

News Latest News Feed