The Philippines is committed to ensure that it would follow the education and training requirements in line with the International Convention on the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) for Seafarers.
This was according to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) after the European Commission's (EC) recognition of the certificates issued by the country to Filipino seafarers.
Photo from the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA)
PH commits to enhance maritime education, training after EU’s decision on Pinoy seafarers
At a glance
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Saturday, April 1, welcomed the decision of the European Commission (EC) to extend the recognition by the European Union (EU) of the Philippine certificates for seafarers onboard European vessels.
In a statement, the department also committed to ensure that the country would follow the education and training requirements in line with the International Convention on the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) for Seafarers.
“The DFA notes that the extension comes with conditions for the PH to meet and comply with its commitments to improve the process and implementation of the Philippine maritime education, training and certification (METC) system,” the statement read.
“The Philippines has viewed the inspections, verifications and evaluations conducted by the European Commission, through the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), constructively, and is firm in its commitment to meet the same, mindful that these are in the interest of ensuring the best possible conditions for Philippine seafarers looking to serve on EU flag vessels,” it added.
Joni Gesmundo, Department of Transportation (DOTr) spokesperson, said that EC has yet to set a deadline for the Philippines’ compliance to the STCW requirements.
The DFA said it “appreciates” EC’s offer of technical assistance to help the Philippines overcome the challenges in the implementation of the STCW Convention 1978, as amended.
“The Philippine Government will continue to work towards elevating the METC system to the highest standard, and ensure the best possible employment opportunities for Filipino seafarers, on domestic or foreign flag vessels,” the DFA added.
EC’s decision to extend its recognition of Philippine-issued certificates came after President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s directive to improve the education, training and certification system for Filipino seafarers.
The regional bloc cited the country’s “serious efforts to comply with the requirements, in particular in key areas like the monitoring, supervision and evaluation of training and assessment.”
Last year, the EU flagged the country for deficiencies in local seafaring training and education that could jeopardize some 50,000 Filipino seafarer jobs.
The Philippines has been failing the EMSA audit for 16 years, with the first audit done in 2006.
EU threatened to ban Filipino marine officers on EU vessels by refusing to recognize Philippine-issued STCW certificates, which are based on the International Convention on the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping 1978.
Filipino seafarers contribute around $6 billion to the Philippine economy, Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista also disclosed earlier.