By Charissa Luci-Atienza
ACTS-OFW Rep. Aniceto Bertiz III is calling on the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) to ensure that the country is fully compliant with the global training and certification standards for sailors.
He made the call as overseas Filipino sailors sent home a total of $533 million (P27.8 billion) in cash via the banking system in January, up by 12.7 percent from $473 million (P24.6 billion) during the same month in 2018.
“As long as we keep on complying with global training and certification standards for sailors, the job prospects of Philippine-educated ship officers should remain bright,” Bertiz said.
The party-list lawmaker expressed “guarded optimism” that the cash transfers from Filipino sailors would increase in the coming months.
“We are counting on MARINA’s declaration that it is taking all the necessary steps to consistently improve the country’s maritime education, training, examination, and assessment system,” Bertiz said.
MARINA earlier said the Philippines remains in the “White List” of nations deemed fully compliant with the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW).
The Philippines’ inclusion in the list means that all International Maritime Organization (IMO) member-countries should accept as valid the certificates possessed by Filipino sailors and issued by Philippine authorities.
“Filipino sailors will find it easy to get jobs on foreign vessels and to obtain endorsements from other countries, as long as we are in the list,” Bertiz said.
He said t Filipino sailors serve on bulk carriers, container ships, oil, gas, chemical and other product tankers, general cargo ships, pure car carriers, cruise ships and tugboats around the world.
In 2018, Filipino sailors wired home a total of $6.14 billion through bank channels, up by 4.5 percent from $5.87 billion in 2017, Bertiz noted.