JELIE Enad, 21, of Lapu-Lapu City, prayed that she would pass the licensure exam for naval architecture and marine engineering graduates.

When they learned that she had the fifth highest score nationwide, her parents were so happy they cried.

Lawyer Augusto W. Go, president of the University of Cebu (UC), said he was so proud of Enad (fifth place), Paul Khevin T. Arcuino (8th place) and Arvin John Concon (10th place).

The three earned their bachelor’s degrees in naval architecture and marine engineering in UC’s Main Campus. The university also offers marine courses in the UC Marine Education and Training Center (UC-METC).

As a reward, Atty. Go said, the university is planning to give the three topnotchers P50,000 each.

After graduating last March, Enad immediately worked as a UC instructor to help her family, as well as to express her gratitude to UC.

She first enrolled in the four-year course as a scholar, but was later disqualified because of a low grade in one of her subjects.

She said that her family, who lives in Barangay Ibo, Lapu-Lapu City, couldn’t afford to pay the tuition because her father’s earnings as a jeepney driver were enough only for the family’s food.

“I just submitted a promissory note every examination and I thank UC for considering it. UC is very kind,” said Enad, who wants to continue working as an instructor.

Atty. Go said that UC-Main and UC-METC have produced two to three topnotchers, sometimes five, in every licensure examination.

UC-METC is the only naval and marine school in Cebu. The other schools are located in Luzon and Davao.

Go said he was also happy that a big number of mechanical engineering students passed their licensure examination last Sept. 28. Result were released last Oct. 4.

He observed that the university’s naval architecture and marine engineering graduates often end up earning well overseas. Ship captains make anywhere from US$6,000 to $15,000 a month (P291,000 to P727,000, at yesterday’s exchange rate).

He quoted a report from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas revealed that said there were about 11 million overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), with total remittances of about P26 billion a year.

Of the 11 million, 400,000 of them are seafarers, yet that relatively small group—less than four percent of the total population—contributes 30 percent of the remittances.