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Marcos admin addresses problems in maritime industry

QUEZON CITY (PIA) – The fruits of President Ferdinand R. Marcos’ efforts in reinforcing plans for the maritime industry are reflected in the extension of the European Commission for Mobility and Transport’s recognition of the Philippine government’s maritime education, training, and certification for seafarers. 

European Commission Director-General for Mobility and Transport Henrik Hololei acknowledges the country’s plans and programs to address the six deficiencies identified by the European Union in the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW).

The deficiencies were in the areas of monitoring, supervision, and evaluation of training and assessment; examination and assessment of competence; program and course design and approval; availability and use of training facilities and simulators; on-board training; and issue, revalidation and registration of certificates and endorsements.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) spokesperson Joni Gesmundo highlights that the department had been developing curriculums and looking for ways to improve the training as well as procure better types of equipment in maritime schools in the country to produce globally competitive graduates.

The Maritime Industry Authority welcomes the decision of the European Commission to continue the recognition of Philippine-issued STCW Certificates.

Further, the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) Secretary Susan Ople also acknowledges the news and shares that the grant ensures the employment of almost 50,000 Filipino marine officers onboard European-flagged vessels.. She adds that this is a fruition of prior engagements of the President with the international community as well as local directives. 

President Marcos met with a group of European shipowners in Brussels last December, which resulted in the establishment of the International Advisory Committee on Global Maritime Affairs (IACGMA) that now offers technical advice to the DMW on seafarers’ concerns.

During the EU-ASEAN Summit, the President took the opportunity to discuss with EU President Ursula von der Leyen the technical cooperation to improve the concerns regarding the maritime and seafarers’ industry. The President solidifies these efforts by issuing several local directives to the DMW, the DoTr, MARINA, and the Commission for Higher Education (CHED) to ensure the Philippines follows the STCW.

It can be recalled that in 2020, the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), on behalf of the EU Commission, carried out an inspection of the maritime education, training and certification system of the Philippines.

The European Commission notified the Philippines in December 2021 of the deficiencies and that recognition of its seafarer certificates would be withdrawn unless serious measures were taken, including compliance with the STCW.

Derecognition will mean that Filipino seafarers can only serve up to the duration of their existing contracts and shall be barred from boarding other EU-flagged vessels unless recognition is reissued.

Hence, this extension will benefit a great number of Filipinos that seek opportunities outside the Philippines that will eventually contribute to the local economy. This grant is a new beginning for the Marcos administration and the Overseas Filipino Workers.  (MVV, PIA-CPSD)

Photo: Maritime Industry Authority 

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