DOTr working double time to keep PH seafarers’ int’l certifications
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is working double time with other government agencies and maritime schools to ensure that Filipino seafarers will meet the standards of training, certification and watchkeeping for seafarers (STCW) required by the international maritime sector.
Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista, on the sidelines of an event in Makati City on Thursday, said they were in talks as well with the European Maritime Safety Agency, which previously flagged some Philippine maritime schools for noncompliance to the STCW, which are basic requirements for seafarers who want to work abroad.
To address the issue with training, Bautista said they were coordinating with the Commission on Higher Education, the Department of Migrant Workers and the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina).
Sen. Joel Villanueva earlier said that 30,000 Filipino seafarers might lose their jobs due to lingering concerns about the quality of maritime education in the Philippines.
The European Union had given Marina until March 10 this year to respond to the reported deficiencies. The government has since informed the EU of steps so far taken that it hopes will address these concerns.
Seafarers are among the major contributors of US dollar remittances to the country.
On Wednesday, Norwegian ship Statsraad Lehmkuhl docked at the Port of Manila, which will provide Filipino seafarers training experience.
“This 98-meter-long, 15-hundred-ton training ship is the kind of international standard of basic training that our marine cadets should experience before boarding large commercial vessels,” Bautista said.
“I hope we can explore other avenues of collaboration not just in maritime training but in other modes of transportation,” Bautista added.
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