Marcos admin to strictly comply with EU standards on PH seafarers’ concerns
THE administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. will be strictly complying with the standards of the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) in three months to put an end to woes in the country’s maritime industry.
Speaker Martin G. Romualdez made this assertion on Tuesday, stressing that addressing issues of Filipino seafarers in Europe is a priority of the Marcos administration.
“There’s a three-month period which we have to actually comply. Kung hindi, hindi marerecognize yung mga… kumbaga yung mga graduate certificates natin, eh di mawawala yung bisa. It’s such an unfortunate condition. We all know that Filipino seafarers are the best,” said Romualdez in an interview with the press on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations-European Union (ASEAN-EU) commemorative summit in Brussels, Belgium.
Romualdez said there is a “sense of urgency” in tackling legislation in the hope of improving the educational system for the maritime industry.
“There are always a number of legislation always seeking the best for the welfare of our seafarers,” the Speaker said.
Romualdez said, however, that there are other countries that “perhaps have a more liberal view, and that’s what makes us less competitive.”
“We’ve lost our competitive edge to countries like India, who doubled up, so we’ve lost that market share. Our conditions are more stringent,” Romualdez pointed out.
One of the measures pending at the House of Representatives is the proposed Maritime Education and Training Act, which seeks to push for a modern maritime education and training regime and support the needs of maritime students and professionals.
“They definitely deserve to be given the best opportunities to excel,” the Speaker said.
President Marcos earlier ordered the creation of an advisory board to address deficiencies identified by the EU in the Philippine seafarers’ education, training and certification system.
In his meeting with international maritime employers and shipowners in Brussels, the President assured the EU’s transport officials that the Philippines is actively working to address certification issues concerning Filipino seafarers to make them compliant with the Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping (STCW) Convention.
Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) Secretary Susan “Toots” Ople said Republic Act No. 11641, which created the DMW, identifies the creation of an advisory body to assess training and qualifications.