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Philippines cracks down on inferior maritime schools


08:19 PM August 13th, 2011

By: Philip C. Tubeza, August 13th, 2011 08:19 PM

MANILA, Philippines—The government is cracking down on substandard maritime schools after the European Union threatened to ban Filipino seafarers due to the “insufficient quality” of their training in the country.

Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) has passed two resolutions to improve the quality of education of Filipino seamen.

“Two resolutions have already been adopted and published. The first resolution will require new trainees to take the full management course, while the second will require those with existing deficiencies to address them,” Baldoz said.

The European Union Maritime Safety Agency  earlier this year said it may stop the hiring of Filipino seafarers by the end of this month if the government failed to reform maritime training in the Philippines.

Baldoz said the government was looking into having one government agency that would oversee the needs of the maritime industry.

“During our meeting with Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa together with the EU representatives, our instructions were to draft an Executive Order to identify a single authority and how the other maritime agencies will be linked to it,” Baldoz said.

Baldoz said she was optimistic the EMSA would approve of these reforms and continue hiring Filipino seafarers.

“Yes, we will be able to comply,” she said.

Around one-third of the world’s seafares are Filipinos and the Philippines remains one of the top providers of seafarers abroad.

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