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Marina submits Emsa ‘proof of compliance’ on seafarer education, training, certification

Marina submits Emsa ‘proof of compliance’ on seafarer education, training, certification
Lorenz S. Marasigan - November 9, 2018

The Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) has submitted its “proof of compliance” with European Maritime Safety Agency (Emsa) standards.

Marina Officer in Charge Narciso A. Vingson Jr. said the submission aims to “close the gap” on the noted areas in the country’s maritime education, training and certification system of Filipino seafarers.

He noted that the submission, which listed the actions that were undertaken to address the findings noted in the European Commission (EC) Assessment Report in 2017, was done before October 21.

Vingson, who was just appointed as Marina officer in charge, added he is confident that the Philippines has successfully addressed the challenges on the country’s maritime education, noting that the “proactive approach” of the agency will “ensure the continuous recognition” of the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) certificates of Filipino marine officers.

“This is how confident, serious and committed we are in dealing with the Emsa issue. Failure is not in our options,” he said.

Among the documents transmitted to Emsa were amended legislations, interagency cooperation initiatives, and good governance measures on the administration of maritime education and training programs, assessment of seafarer competence and the issuance of STCW certificates.

Vingson added that part of the major actions taken by the Marina was the extensive review and revision of seven existing national legislations and the development of six training course packages, all of which are ready for implementation.

He also cited the “active collaboration” with the Commission on Higher Education, Department of Health and Philippine Coast Guard in reviewing the existing policies, standards, and guidelines governing the Bachelor of Science in Marine Technology and Bachelor of Science in Marine Engineering programs.

The interagency task force also evaluated the compliance of maritime higher educational institutions on the trainings and courses offered to aspiring Filipino mariners.

Another document sent to Emsa was Executive Order 63 and its implementing rules and regulations. The order essentially mandated Marina to establish policies and mechanisms to promote the well-being and competency of Filipino seafarers being deployed here and abroad.

Vingson added that the government “has intensified its efforts to prepare for the independent evaluation on the country’s implementation of the STCW Convention by the International Maritime Organization [IMO].”

This, he said, will help keep the Philippines in the so-called white list of countries that successfully comply with international standards.

As this developed, Vingson announced that he has already created a task force on STCW mandatory independent evaluation. It will be “responsible for the conduct of an internal audit or self-assessment on Philippine compliance before the actual conduct of the said independent evaluation between January and March in 2019.”

The government aims to submit its compliance report to the IMO on or before September next year.