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European commission extends recognition to 50K plus Pinoy seafarers

MANILA, (PIA) -The European Commission's Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport has extended its recognition of the Philippine government's maritime education, training and certification for seafarers after noting the country's actions in addressing some of its serious deficiencies.

Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) Secretary Susan Ople said the European Commission's decision is a testimony to the leadership and political will of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., in ensuring the country's compliance with the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) standards.

"With this decision, a crisis of monumental proportions has just been averted," said Ople, adding that approximately 50,000 jobs of Filipino masters and officers aboard European vessels were saved by the clear decision.

In a letter received on March 31, Director-General Henrik Hololei told Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) administrator Hernani Fabia that the EU Commission assessed the actions taken by the Philippine government to address these deficiencies in the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW Convention) and Code.

Ople, who is currently in Geneva, thanked the European Commission (EC) for recognizing the significant efforts being made by the Marcos administration to comply with the requirements under the International Convention on STCW for seafarers.

Last December, President Marcos met with European shipowners in Brussels which led to the creation of the International Advisory Committee on Global Maritime Affairs (IACGMA) which now offers technical advice to the Department of Migrant Workers on seafarers' concerns.

The President also met with EU President Ursula von der Leyen on the sidelines of the EU-ASEAN Summit to discuss technical cooperation to improve the education, training and certification system for Filipino seafarers.

Ople also praised the leadership of DoTr Secretary Jaime Bautista who is working hard to accelerate reforms in the maritime sector and present the country's roadmap to the diplomatic and business community. (PIA-NCR)

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Susan De Leon

Assistant Regional Head

National Capital Region

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