PH gov’t aims to remain world’s top source of seafarers
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine government is aiming to retain the country’s status as the top provider of well-educated and well-trained seafarers worldwide.
“We have the facilities, we have the people, we have the process, we will remain to be the number 1 producer of mariners and seamen in this world,” Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade said in a speech during the Maritime Industry Authority’s 45th anniversary.
To achieve this, Tugade said the Philippines must remain on the “whitelist” of the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
The “whitelist” is a list of countries that comply with the STCW Convention 1978, the international standards of training, certification, and watch-keeping for seafarers.
“Kailangan ‘wag tayo ma-blacklist. kailangan magcontinue tayo sa IMO, kailangan magcontinue tayo sa whitelist (We should not be on the blacklist. Wen need to continue being in the whitelist of the IMO),” the Transport secretary said.
Meanwhile, Marina Officer-In-Charge Administrator Narciso Vingson Jr. said the agency will continue to provide “quality education and quality skill training” of Filipino seafarers.
As of 2018, he said, there are more than 400,000 Filipino seafarers overseas, which is 30 percent of the total global maritime labor force.
“We can proudly recognize that these seafarers are well-educated, well-trained, and well-equipped to man internationally flagged vessels,” Vingson said.
He said the Philippines remains compliant with the SCTW convention and remains on the IMO’s whitelist.
“We don’t have problems with the whitelist. We still are in the whitelist. We are not removed. We are compliant,” Vingson said. (Editor: Eden Estopace)
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