When you work on ships, you need more than your passport. There’s another little book you take with you when you go to airports and ship ports. It’s called SIRB or Seaman’s Identification Record Book. This is Seaman’s Book for short. You can get a seaman’s book after you pass the Basic Safety Training first.
SIRB is a major requirement to all seafarers before they can join ships and become eligible to work. Here in the Philippines, the sole agency that issues the Seaman’s book is the Maritime Industry Authority or MARINA. These days it’s easy to get a seaman’s book using MARINA’s new system called MISMO.
Seaman’s Book Application Then and Now
In the past when I first applied for SIRB, I had to endure long lines and wasted so much time. Things were different then because applications were manually done. In contrast, things are way better these days. Big thanks to the Internet! MARINA has now found a way to computerize their systems.
So whether you’re renewing your seaman’s book or applying for the first time, the application is now made faster and more convenient through Marina Integrated Seafarers Management Online (MISMO) system. You can just use your phone or your computer to apply and set appointment as long as you have Internet connection. You can also do it in the comforts of your home.
Here’s a step by step guide on how to apply for your seaman’s book using MISMO.
Create Your MISMO Account
1. Open your browser and go to https://online-appointment.marina.gov.ph/
2. If you have an existing SCS account, sign in using your SCS username and password. You can also choose to sign in via SIRB. If you’re a new applicant, click the “Sign-up” button.
3. Register a new account.
4. Fill out the required information. Accept the “Terms and Conditions”. Then click the “Register” button.
5. Verify your email account to complete your registration. Once verified, you can start setting an appointment for SIRB application or renewal.
Update Your Profile Information
1. Go back to MARINA Homepage to sign in again. Tick the “reCAPTCHA box” to confirm that you are not a robot.
2. Fill out the needed information. Upload a valid profile picture. According to Marina’s standard, the picture should be taken in white background with the applicant wearing plain white polo.
3. Make sure all information are correct before hitting the “Save Changes” button on the screen.
Select Your Transaction
1. Click the “Transaction” button. Choose “SIRB”. The processing time can either be regular or expedite. Choose your preferred MARINA office and the type of transaction whether first time application or renewal.
2. Remember to tick the box to declare that your profile records are updated.
3. Click “Proceed”.
4. MARINA will send you a text message reminding you to bring the original copies of the documents you need to upload. You will be directed to the “Application Information” window showing the details of your application including the requirements.
Complete the Required Documents
1. These are the requirements for first time applicants. Submit everything on the list.
2. Likewise, seafarers wanting to renew their SIRB have to upload these documents.
3. Review the required documents and upload scanned copies of them. Keep the file less than 1 MB. Otherwise, they will not be accepted. You can simply use your phone to take pictures. Click “Submit” when you’re finished.
4. Once you submitted your application, your profile will be checked and verified by “MARINA Online Evaluating Team”. It may take 24 hours, sometimes even more. Mine took 3 days. It’s important that your profile photo is appropriate and the required documents are complete for a faster review and response from them. You can review the status of your application by signing in to your MISMO account.
5. If your application has been approved, you will receive a text message informing you that you can now set an “Online Appointment” through your MISMO account. If it has been denied, you can view the details by logging in to your account and clicking “Application” tab.
Set Your SIRB Appointment
1. Log in to your MISMO account. Click the “Application” tab then click “For Appointment” button.
2. You will be directed to the “Slot Locator” Tab. Here you can choose your desired time and date for your final evaluation. Select the MARINA branch near you.
3. Lastly, click “Proceed”. A confirmation will appear that says: Appointment set successfully!
Pay the Fee Within 18 Hours
1.After clicking “Proceed”, you will be directed to the “Payment” page. Read the guidelines on how you can pay for your transaction.
2. Click the “Proceed” button again then click “Confirm”. MARINA will send you a text message with your payment reference number.
3. Pay the fee in any of MARINA’s partner payment centers. You only have 18 hours to pay. Beyond that time, your transaction will lapse and you have to reset your appointment.
4. Once the fee was settled, this will show in your MISMO account.
Show Up for Your Final Evaluation
1. Take note of your appointment date and do not forget about it. Show up early, at least 30 minutes before your scheduled appointment. Don’t be late.
2. Finally, go to your selected MARINA office and bring original and photocopies of your documents.
3. Your seaman’s book will be released after everything has been checked and verified.
That’s it! That’s all you need to know. That’s how easy it is to get a seaman’s book using MISMO. May you get yours soon. And once it lands on your hands open the book quick. Contemplate on the empty pages that are all looking bare and dull. Now imagine the many stamps soon this tiny book will have. Above all, imagine the countless places it will take you to. It’s your ticket to a grand adventure. Maybe, your doorway to the world.
I was a young teacher when took my first trip outside the country with friends. I tried so hard to convince Mama I can do it. We stayed in Hong Kong for a few days. I was excited and scared. I look back to that more than 10 years that passed. The thrill brought by the event will forever be in my mind. Little did I know that many more trips will come after that. Little did I know I will travel far and wide.
Albert Einstein once said, “Imagination is everything. It’s the preview of life’s coming attractions.”
So there. Close your eyes, hold that book and just imagine.
Follow your dreams.