The Philippine maritime industry has dodged a bullet after the European Union (EU) deferred any decision on the blacklisting the country's seafarers from European ships, thanks to quick action taken by the Aquino administration.
In a statement, the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) announced that the European Maritime Safety Administration (EMSA) decided to postpone submitting an unfavorable recommendation to the European Union on the Philippines' compliance with global Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) for seafarers.
The withdrawal of EU's recognition of the STCW Certificates issued by the Philippine government would result in the displacement of about 80,000 Filipino seafarers aboard EU registered ships. Collectively, the seamen contribute about P4.5B in remittance every year.
"If EMSA filed the recommendation, even other major ship-owning countries like Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore and the United States will no longer employ Filipino seafarers," the DOTC said. "Also, all Philippine registered ships will be rendered unseaworthy by operation of the withdrawal of STCW recognition for Filipino seafarers."
Compliance to STCW standards ensures that seafarers trained in the Philippines are equipped with the necessary skills to work on ships straight out of school.
EMSA's decision to put off any recommendation came as a result of the Maritime Industry Administration's (Marina) completion of implementing rules and regulations for President Aquino's Executive Order 75.
The order designated the DOTC, through Marina, as the single administration in the Philippines responsible for the oversight in the implementation of the 1978 International Convention on STCW for seafarers. This addressed the fragmentation of powers covering STCW standards, which EMSA criticized as ineffective.
Source: Business Inquirer