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PH maritime industry given time to implement reforms—DFA

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Department of Foreign Affairs building. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Maritime industry was given additional time to implement reforms by the European Union to meet international regulations, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.

“The Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) of the Philippines was given additional time to implement structural and policy changes to meet regulatory standards set by the 1978 International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, (STCW Convention),” the DFA said in a statement Thursday.

An audit team from the European Maritime Safety Agency (Emsa) will come here to look into the measures which Philippine maritime authorities will be implementing to ensure compliance with STCW standards, DFA said.

EMSA has been sending audit teams to the Philippines since 2006 in order to ensure that the 82,000 Filipino seafarers working on board European Union (EU)-flagged vessels were qualified and competent.

The EMSA audit team plans to arrive after the start of the new school year in September/October in order to monitor the delivery of maritime education by the country’s higher education and training institutions, DFA said.

Previously, President Benigno Aquino III signed Republic Act No. 10635 which puts all responsibilities of meeting STCW standards under Marina.

The law was signed on March 13, 2014, after the EMSA conducted an audit in October 2013.

The additional time allows Marina to implement reforms in maritime schools and training institutions ahead of the next audit at the start of the next school year.

“The DFA will now focus on providing support to MARINA as it rectifies deficiencies in the country’s maritime education system before the next EMSA audit,” DFA said.

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