Top 20 Maritime Schools in the Philippines

by | Last updated May 6, 2024 | Career Guide | 0 comments

I often receive emails from interested students asking about the best maritime school in the country.

I tried looking into it and finally made criteria for my ranking, which I want to be based on facts and numbers.

Many of the schools that reached the top 20 are renowned for their scholarship programs, which many of you are familiar with.

Basis for ranking these maritime schools

My primary basis for ranking these schools is their passing rate for MARINA’s theoretical exams between 2019 and 2022.

These were the only available data on MARINA’s website, and I think they are sufficient for a quick metric.

Another thing to consider is that many of these schools only had 10, 30, or 50 aggregate examinees between those years. 

A school could have a 100% passing rate from its 4 examinees, but this doesn’t give us reliable data.

In order to smooth out the average, I picked up the schools with at least 190 examinees for deck management and operational, and another 190 examinees for engine management and operational.

First-Time Passers, Resits, and Averages

In order for me to arrive at a meaningful number to base on, I took the average of first-time passers and resit passers out of their total examinees.

It will make more sense when you look at the chart below.

Percentage rankings and results for first time and repeat taker examinees of Deck Management and Operational ranks.

Best Maritime Schools in the Philippines

Out of the 80+ maritime schools in the country, here are the top 20 ranked according to their passing rate under the MARINA Competency Assessment System.

I separated them into deck and engine for a more granular overview of their passing rates and performances.

Hence, the first top 10 will be for the marine transportation department, and the second top 10 will be for the marine engineering department.

Best Schools for Marine Transportation

10. John B. Lacson Colleges Foundation – Bacolod, Inc.

While there is a famous chant on the VHF radio proclaiming, ”John B. number one, one, one…” this isn’t the case here.

JBLFMU – Bacolod manages the top ten spot with a 63.58% passing rate for management-level examinees and 72.09% for operational-level examinees.

Cadets from the maritime school John B. Lacson Foundation in a silent drill formation during their anniversary.
Image: JBLFMU – Bacolod Facebook Page

9. Lyceum of the Philippines University (LPU)– Batangas Campus

LPU Batangas is one of the schools chosen by the Norwegian Shipowner’s Association (NSA) scholarship program.

The average passing rate of management and operational deck examinees from this school is very close at 68.39% and 68.01%, respectively.

8. Philippine Merchant Marine Academy (PMMA)

As a government-operated institution, the PMMA has an average passing rate for the marine transportation department at 68.70%.

It has a very close lead against LPU at 68.20%, a 0.5% difference!

7. Asian Institute of Maritime Studies (AIMS)

Our first entrants from the National Capital Region, AIMS concluded 85 passers out of 124 management-level examinees and 210 passers out of 310 operational-level examinees.

Including resits, AIMS has an average passing rate of 69.15% from 2019 to 2022.

6. John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University – Arevalo, Inc.

JBLFMU—Arevalo Campus has the most management-level examinees, 453, and the second-most examinees for the operational level, 427.

The school’s passing rate is 69.30%, 0.15% higher than AIMS.

5. DMMA College of Southern Philippines (DCSP)

DMMA is a school in Davao City and the second institution the NSA has partnered with for its scholarship programs.

The passing rate for its operational-level examinees is relatively high at 73.11%. 

All in all, its average passing rate is 70.50%.

4. University of Cebu – METC

Between 2019 and 2022, UC-METC had the most marine transportation examinees for operational and management levels, totaling 1,065!

The school’s average score is at 72.40%.

3. University of Cebu in Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue (UCLM)

Now comes the third place and the start of their scores having significant differences.

UCLM is a “brother” school of UC-METC and is one of the host institutions of the NSA Scholarship program.

It has an average score of 74.70%.

2. Maritime Academy of Asia and Pacific (MAAP)

Averaging a score of 79.28%, MAAP is the second-best school for marine transportation graduates taking MARINA’s theoretical exams and repeat exams.

The passing rate between their management and operational level examinees is very close, which is impressive!

It’s expected because they also offer maritime scholarships to deserving students.

1. Palompon Institute of Technology (PIT)

Palompon Institute of Technology is the best maritime school in the Philippines. Here’s why.

PIT’s management and operational level results were the highest— 78.61% and 90.48%, respectively; their average score is 84.54%.

What a banger!

Student cadets of PIT taking their exams.
Image: PIT Facebook Page

Best Schools for Marine Engineering

The marine engineering exams are proving more difficult than marine transportation. Their rankings are also close-knit and many only have decimal differences between their leads.

10. John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University – Molo, Inc.

Similar to its Bacolod brach, JBLFMU also manages to score in the top 10.

Here, John B. – Molo scores 65.82%.

9. VMA Global College and Training Centers, Inc.

VMA Global College is a school in Bacolod City that offers nautical, marine, hospitality, and tourism courses.

They have one of the highest resit passers for engine operational exams at 88.89%, catapulting them to the 9th place with an overall score of 67.71%.

8. University of Cebu – METC

UC-METC still holds the most number of examinees, even for the engine department, totaling 765.

Though their first-time passers rate is pretty low, at 55.56%, the school managed 67.71% total, enough to get them to the 8th spot.

7. Technological Institute of the Philippines (TIP)

Though no longer accredited by MARINA and CHED, TIP graduates are still raising their school’s banner by bagging 7th place for the best marine engineering school in the country.

Their score stands at 68.32%.

6. Maritime Academy of Asia and Pacific (MAAP)

MAAP performed much better for their deck examinees, but the engine exams are becoming problematic.

In addition to having the second-most examinees (744), they manage a score of 72.22%, nearly a four-point lead against TIP.

Snappy cadets on a spectacular silent drill formation.
Image: MAAP Facebook Page

5. PMI Colleges – Bohol

PMI is one of the most well-known maritime schools in the country, and it has a lot of branches.

This time, they managed to get the fifth spot at 72.84%.

4. Cebu Technological University (CTU)

Cebu is the home to many world-class institutions, and CTU is one of them.

Bagging the fourth place with a score of 74.38%, their 430 examinees tell us that their marine engineering department is one of the best in the country.

3. University of Cebu in Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue

It’s no surprise that UCLM maintains the top 3 spots, considering they are home to many NSA Scholars.

This time, their score is 75.96%, 1.2% higher than their marine transportation cohorts.

2. NYK-TDG Maritime Academy

Securing the 2nd spot is a new entrant with a score of 77.52%.

NYK-TDG is a maritime school sponsored by the NYK Line of Japan and the Philippines’s Transnational Diversified Group (TDG).

Their deck department candidates also did well but didn’t meet the required number of students.

Percentage rankings and results for first time and repeat taker examinees of Engine Management and Operational ranks.

1. Palompon Institute of Technology (PIT)

Hands down, Palompon Institute of Technology is the best maritime school in the Philippines due to its consistent ranking for deck and engine theoretical exams.

With an overall score of 78.24%, their 200+ examinees can testify that they are simply the cream of the crop!

What do you think of this ranking? Feel free to comment down or ask about your school’s position.

May the winds be in your favor.



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