Marcos promise: PH will comply with EU standards for seafarers
BRUSSELS — President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Sunday night said the Philippines would address the deficiencies in the country’s maritime education that put at risk the jobs of some 50,000 Filipino seafarers deployed on European Union (EU) vessels.
Speaking to reporters onboard PR001 en route to Belgium, the President said the Philippines would comply with the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW Convention).
Early this year, the EU flagged the Philippines for deficiencies in local seafarer training and education.
READ: 50,000 Filipino seafarers risk job loss on EU vessels
“I think that we will […] do everything that we can. We cannot leave it hanging like this,” Marcos told reporters.
“It’s not something you can debate about. You comply. We’ll have to comply. So that we will be accredited,” he said. “And this is our last chance so we have to really — we really have to get it done.”
The Philippines had yet to pass the international standards for seafarers’ training since 2006.
READ: EU may ban PH seamen over training deficiencies
Jerome Pampolina, assistant secretary for sea-based services at the Department of Migrant Workers, earlier told a House hearing that this would be the final year for the Philippines to adopt corrective measures and comply with the STCW.
According to Marcos, concerned agencies in the maritime industry in the country “is working very hard” to pass the final evaluation by the European Maritime Safety Agency of the country’s STCW compliance.
“The whole industry is working to make it happen,” he said, adding that the government doesn’t want to put thousands of Filipino seafarers in a “bad place.”
Marcos is in Belgium to attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations-European Union (Asean-EU) Commemorative Summit from Dec. 12 to 14.
Asked if he would raise the issue of Filipino seafarers during the summit, he said: “Well, I will but you have to understand that the accreditation that we are trying to get is dependent upon us.”
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