The Department of Migrant Worker (DMW) has expressed gratitude to the European Commission (EC) to continue accepting the certificates being issued by the Philippine government for Filipino seafarers as a requirement for job hiring and continue with their work.
DMW Secretary Susan Ople said the EU decision averted the loss of jobs of around 50,000 of Filipino masters and officers aboard European vessels.
“With this decision, a crisis of monumental proportions has just been averted. We look forward to the start of technical cooperation between the Philippines and EC in professionalizing and further improving the skills of Filipino seafarers,” said Ople.
Ople said the EC decision was an offshoot of the efforts of the national government to comply with the requirements under the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) for seafarers.
In December last year, it was recalled that President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. met with the European shipowners in Brussels which led to the creation of the International Advisory Committee on Global Maritime Affairs (IACGMA).
The committee now offers technical advice to the DMW on seafarers’ concerns.
He also met with EU President Ursula von der Leyen in the margins of the EU-ASEAN Summit to discuss technical cooperation to improve the education, training and certification system for Filipino seafarers. The President also issued several directives to the DMW, the DoTr, MARINA and CHED on STCW compliance.
The DMW Secretary is in Geneva, Switzerland as head of the Philippine delegation to the 21st Session of the United Nations Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families.