Formerly John B. Lacson Colleges Foundation, it is the first maritime university in the Philippines.
The John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University was born from the vision of a young man who pursued his goal with a remarkable passion and zeal that set the tone of leadership in this institution. Master Mariner Juan Bautista Lacson, the founder, first started with a review school for marine officers in May 1931, thus foreshadowing the birth of the Iloilo Maritime Academy in 1948. When it first opened with 60 enrollees, the Academy offered a two-year regular course for cadets in the nautical profession leading to the acquisition of a Third Mate license for merchant marine officers as well as reserved naval officers in the Philippine Navy. By the time it was granted permit to operate in 1949, the school had 150 junior students and 54 seniors. The following year, it was granted government recognition and registered as a non-stock corporation by the Securities and Exchange Commission. To accommodate its growing population, the Academy transferred locations a couple of times before it settled along Muelle Loney Street in 1953.
The height of activism, strikes, pickets and labor unrest in the country in 1971 did not spare the Iloilo Maritime Academy from the fury of the times. In 1972, there was a change in leadership of the institution as Capt. Lacsonâ€™s youngest daughter, Mary Lou Lacson, took over and was welcomed and accepted even by union members. The year marked the beginning of the expansion of IMA to JBLCF, i.e., JBLCF – Arevalo in 1973, JBLCF â€“ Bacolod in 1974, JBLCF â€“ Molo in 1976, and JBLCF â€“ Puerto del Mar Training Center in Guimaras in 1995.
Today, the JBLFMU, as an institution for higher learning that has gained recognition as having pioneered in undertakings for the development of maritime education and training, propelled by a strong, dynamic and proactive leadership, has become a premier maritime institution in the country. Its innovativeness in many ways distinguishes it from the rest of the maritime institutions. It has made remarkable strides as an educational institution particularly in the maritime field through the years, most of which were achieved during the last four decades.
Having pioneered maritime education in the Visayas and Mindanao, it has constantly led the way by consistently providing competent seafarers since 1948, becoming a major supplier of Filipino marine officers, with a contribution of about 12% annually. The highlights may be seen in 2001 when JBLFMU supplied 12.47% of the deck and 12.35% of the engine officers of the Philippines, and in 2005 with 12% of the new entrants to the profession.
Recognizing the need to have its programs accredited for it to be at par with international standards for maritime education and training, JBLFMU immersed itself into accreditation concerns and was instrumental in the formulation of the instrument of accreditation for maritime education under the Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities Commission on Accreditation (PACU-COA). It became the pilot school for maritime accreditation in 1985, and actively participated in the revisions of the instrument in 1992, 1995 and 1999. It is not surprising therefore that it became the first maritime institution to be accredited by the PACU-COA in March 1986. It is the first and the only maritime educational institution to be granted Level III accredited and re-accredited status in the Philippines – a distinction which it holds up to this day.
The JBLFMU has earned many distinctions like being the first and the only maritime educational institution to be granted an autonomous status by CHED (October 2001). It is also the first maritime educational institution in the Philippines to attain an international accreditation, the Det Norske Veritas (DNV) Certification, for its Quality Assurance, the first in the Philippines, the second in Asia and the third in the world to have such a distinction.
Of the first three educational institutions to be awarded the Philippine Quality Award for Management Excellence in 2006, the JBLFMU is a member of the Phi Delta Kappa, an international association of professional educators, and is among the key chapters in the world.
The JBLFMU Training Center is accredited by the Panama Maritime Authority and recognized by the Norwegian Maritime Directorate (NMD), Maritime Training Council (MTC), Department of Trade (DOT), and Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA).
The Norwegian Shipownersâ€™ Association Class Project has selected more scholars from JBLFMU than from any other NSA recipient schools in the country, starting with the 1st batch (Class â€™93 â€“ â€™97) to the 14th batch presently enrolled.
The university was given recognition by the Philippine Association of Maritime Institutions (PAMI) as the first maritime school in the Philippines to have formulated and adopted an enriched CHED curriculum incorporating the IMO Model Courses (June 1995).
It has produced two students in the roster of Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines (TOSP) in 1989 and 2002.
It was endorsed by manning and shipping companies and by highly knowledgeable personages in the industry for the competence of its graduates.
It was authorized by CHED as a provider of the Expanded Tertiary Education Equivalency and Accreditation Program (ETEEAP) for Engine and Deck, and the only one in the country. It was declared by assessors from CHED to have established the best system for equivalency evaluation.
It is the first to publish a Maritime Education Review and the first to establish a maritime high school in the country and was nominated by CHED as having one of the best HEI Research Programs for 2006.
It is the first private school to have obtained a MOA with the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) Project to improve maritime training for inter-island shipping (1995) and belongs to the first cluster of 11 maritime educational institutions that have complied with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) requirements for the inclusion of the Philippines in the “White List”. Of the 11 schools, JBLFMU accounted for three slots, one for each of the three campuses.
The JBLFMU is the first to advocate the use of International Maritime Organization (IMO) Modules, and STCW competencies in the maritime curricula. It is also the first institution with a Center for Review and Competency Assessment (CRCA) that evaluates documentation and the skills proficiency gained during the shipboard phase (1998).
The university established the Academic Audit Center (AAC) for the entire institution, and in the units, put up the Academic Assessment Office (AAO) that conducts assessment of skills following the Instructorâ€™s Guide (IG) and in preparation for Standards for Training, Certification and Watch Keeping (STCW) requirements.
Other distincitions of the university are:
â€¢ It is the first and the only school in the country to have a Phi Delta Kappa Chapter, an international professional association of educators (2002).
â€¢ It is the first maritime school that has an Environmental Marine Research Library and Laboratory (2006).
â€¢ It is the first to publish a journal on maritime education entitled the JBLF Maritime Education Journal that first came out in SY 1989-1990.
Its responsiveness to community concerns is demonstrated in the assistance it gives to the economic growth of the province through eco-tourism by way of its extension service to the barangays of Nueva Valencia. Its dynamic research undertakings attest to this responsiveness, addressing such concerns as the barangay needs (by JBLFMU Arevalo), mangrove rehabilitation (by JBLFMU Bacolod), coral reefs (by JBLFMU Molo) and inland fisheries, particularly bulgan and tilapia (by JBLFMU)
The university was among the first to respond to the Guimaras oil spill for which it innovated indigenous materials as boom spill barriers to protect mangrove seedlings.
Its strong community outreach programs include literacy, coastal cleanup, blood donations and MT solar and oil spill cleanup.
Its greatest achievement by far is its having been granted university status, making it the first maritime university in the country.
As a university, the JBLFMU, more than ever, stands committed to sustaining its strong and dynamic culture of research with a pool of academic and non-academic researchers constantly demonstrating high-level research capabilities aided by the latest in technology in their conduct of research significant to academe, business and industry, the entire country and the world community. All JBLFMU research endeavors are supportive of the Universityâ€™s quality policy “to comply with national and international standards and strive to exceed stakeholdersâ€™ expectation.”
With the three academic units in place, i.e., Arevalo, Molo and Bacolod, the JBLFMU continues not only to sustain its programs but to nurture and develop all aspects of the schoolâ€™s facets and concerns , particularly the academics, students, faculty, facilities, focusing on its goal toward attaining and maintaining international standards, through internal and external monitoring, assessment and interventions, and linkages. Its linkages include 165 shipping companies, both international and domestic. With a student population numbering 8,000, a faculty force consisting of 314 out of which 123 are deck and engine officers, and sustained by its flagship courses and the consistent adherence of its programs to international standards, the JBLFMU has indeed become a force in the maritime industry as a provider of excellent seafarers worldwide.
he flagship courses of the university include the GRADUATE SCHOOL where Curricular Programs leading to doctorâ€™s degree and masterâ€™s degree are designed for maritime practitioners, institutional managers and educators as well as allied professionals who want to pursue systematic professional study beyond the masterâ€™s or bachelorâ€™s degrees to enrich their knowledge and skills in their respective careers or professions.
It offers Doctor of Philosophy in Maritime Education (Ph. D. M.E.) Program which is designed for professionals in maritime education and the maritime industry, who want to undertake doctoral-level study to improve the quality of their services as educators and leaders to expand their theoretical understanding of maritime education and industry and how these relate to the improvement of life to the global society, the Master in Maritime Education (M.M.E.) courses which is strictly a thesis program and the Master in Maritime Management (M.M.M.) and Master in Ship Management (M.S.M.) may be taken under the thesis or non-thesis stream.
The Bachelor of Science in Marine Engineering (BSMarE) which is a four (4) year degree program which provides knowledge, skills and values to students aspiring to become competent engine officers in the future is also another flagship course of the univeristy.
Offered in JBLFMU-Molo, the BSMarE program is designed with an enriched curriculum that is responsive to the needs of the shipping industry following closely the curriculum design of the Policies, Standards and Guidelines (PSG) of CHED for Maritime Programs. Engine simulator courses, computer-based training, safety courses, orientation on tankering, and ship security awareness courses are some of the enrichment courses that are integrated to the education and training at JBLFMU on top of the regular navigational trip practicum.
The BACHELOR OF SCIENCE in Marine Transportation, offered in JBLFMU-Arevalo offers studies leading to the degree of Bachelor of Science in Marine Transportation (BSMT). This degree involves a three-year Theoretical Academic studies in its Arevalo campus and a 12 month apprenticeship period on vessels either of near sea or international trade. This is the preparatory course for Deck Officers, for the countryâ€™s merchant marine fleet. It is supervised by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).