Maritime schools must meet int’l standards
President Aquino finally designated a single maritime administration.
The President signed on April 30, Executive Order No. 75 designating the Department of Transportation and Communications, through the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina), as the single agency responsible for the implementation of the 1978 International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) for seafarers.
Philippine Ambassador to Spain Carlos C. Salinas made the announcement on behalf of the Philippine government during an event at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Headquarters in London.
With this announcement, the country reiterates its readiness and commitment to improve safety standards for seafarers and shipping lines. This will include the strict monitoring of the education, training, and certification of maritime professionals, as well as, the registration and control of both the Philippine domestic and international fleet.
The newly approved EO transfers the maritime training functions of the Maritime Training Center (MTC) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) to DOTC-Marina.
Through this directive, Mr. Aquino has laid the groundwork for the country to proceed immediately and decisively, ensuring full compliance with the STCW Code, said Salinas.
As the major source of global maritime professionals, the Philippines recognizes the strategic role and responsibility it plays in the international shipping industry.
The clamor to have a single maritime administration was revived after the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) conducted an audit in March and found deficiencies in the handling the certification of Filipino seafarers.
The STCW Convention is a maritime safety instrument which sets the global standard for training and certification of seafarers.
The IMO views training and education of seafarers as indispensable elements of crew competence.
Job opportunities await qualified and competent Pinoy seafarers despite the global economic crisis.
There are still many available jobs for Filipino seafarers according to Capt. Ronaldo Enrile, vice president for operations of Philippine Transmarine Carriers (PTC), which deploys over 33,000 Filipino maritime professionals on board close to 700 vessels.
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