2023 April 3
The Joint Manning Group (JMG) has expressed its gratitude to the administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. for exerting efforts in institutionalizing the changes to make the country compliant with the requirements of the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) and ensure continued recognition of certificates issued to Filipino seafarers.
On Sunday, JMG welcomed the positive announcement by the European Commission for the continued recognition of Filipino Seafarers’ Certificates, ensuring the stability of employment for Filipino seafarers.
“The manning industry, our seafarers, and their families express our deepest appreciation and thanks to His Excellency President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. and the Department of Migrant Workers for their unwavering support and personal efforts in engaging all the stakeholders of the maritime industry and the global shipping communities,” the JMG said in a statement.
As the largest single nationality of seafarers serving the world’s shipping fleets, the JMG has been advocating the importance of building and continuously improving a trusted Philippine brand of seafarers and officers who reflect the highest standards of quality training, education, and professionalism.
Under President Marcos’ directive, DMW Secretary Susan Ople and Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista, the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) Administration and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) have been working on institutionalizing the necessary changes cited by EMSA, which will be the basis of its decision to continue recognizing the certificates held by Filipino seafarers.
In a meeting with European Shipowners associations in Brussels in December last year, President Marcos directed the formation of a council composed of the European Community of Shipping Associations (ECSA), International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), International Maritime Employers Council (IMEC), International Transport Federation (ITF) and JMG in representing the Manning Industry to provide input to the country’s quality systems.
The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport has extended its recognition of the Philippine government’s maritime education, training and certification for seafarers after taking note of the country’s actions in addressing some of its serious deficiencies.
DMW chief Ople said the European Commission’s decision is a testimony to the leadership and political will of President Marcos in ensuring the country’s compliance with the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW).
Ople the said European Commission’s decision averted a crisis of monumental proportions, adding that roughly 50,000 jobs of Filipino masters and officers aboard European vessels have been saved in light of the decision.
In a letter received on March 31, Director-General Henrik Hololei told MARINA Administrator Hernani Fabia that based on the response by Filipino authorities and on all available information, “the Commission has concluded that the measures taken demonstrate concrete progress and improvement as regards the compliance with the requirements of the STCW Convention.”
The outcome of the analysis allows the EU to extend the recognition of the Republic of Philippines STCW system although there are still issues to be addressed, the EU official said, noting they expect the Philippine government to continue improving in other areas of the system.