Pinoy seafarers successfully satisfy EU Requisite
After facing threats of having its seafarers banned from EU ships, the Philippine government has finally received positive reviews and recognition from the European Commission’s Directorate General for Mobility and Transport (DG Move).
However, the EU said more needs to be done to ensure Filipino seafarers meet international requirements as outlined by the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW).
DG Move and European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) have just lauded the Philippines’ efforts to improve seafarer education, training and certification system. In February this year, Congress passed the Marina Bill that aimed to consolidate all seafarer training agencies under one roof. President Aquino signed the bill into law (RA No 10635) last March.
But with the Marina Law in place, the EU Delegation to the Philippines is now more concerned about consistency in implementing these measures and whether or not local authorities have the right technical assistance in place to monitor the education of seafarers around the country.
The EU said that before they give the full green light, Philippine authorities still have to undergo two inspections. By the end of July 2014, authorities have to prove that all remaining issues regarding STCW implementation are resolved. An on-the-spot inspection by EMSA in October 2014 will ascertain if authorities are consistent with their implementation.
EU Ambassador Guy Ledoux said that the Philippines is known as a nation that produces much-appreciated seafarers. However, the country has to ensure ‘high standards for the officials of our vessels in the interests of the safety of passengers, seafarers, merchandise and the maritime industry as a whole.’
The ban of Filipino seafarers on EU ships first sprang in 2010 after EMSA found out the Philippines did not comply fully with the STCW.