EU team to audit Philippines' maritime training standards
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MANILA - Several government agencies have agreed to bestow upon the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) the responsibility of setting standards on seafarer training ahead of a European audit of the Philippines.
In a statement, Marina officer-in-charge Nicasio Conti said the agency signed memoranda of agreement with the following agencies: Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda), National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) and Department of Health (DOH).
The agreements are meant to align the above agencies' evaluation standards for maritime education and training.
“These partnerships with key government agencies display the commitment of the Philippine government to ensure the effective implementation of EO 75 and maintain the status of the country as one of the leading providers of global maritime professionals," Conti said.
Under Executive Order No. 75, Marina is designated as the single and central maritime administration on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) for seafarers.
The same Palace directive authorizes Marina to issue appropriate certification for the deployment of seafarers in the international seaborne trade consistent with the 2010 STCW Amendments that took effect on January 1, 2012.
EO 75 was issued in response to criticism from the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), which questioned the multiplicity of agencies overseeing standards on seafarer training. EMSA is set to audit the Philippines on April 15-19.
"We have to keep on improving our existing quality system to cope up with the changing times, especially now that we have to strictly follow new regulations set in the STCW 2010 Convention,” Conti said.
According to the Department of Labor and Employment, the Philippines is the leading supplier of maritime manpower, with Filipinos comprising almost 30 percent of the world's seafarers.
Remittances from Filipino seamen reached $4 billion in 2011.