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‘Philippines likely to fail EU maritime audit anew’

‘PH likely to fail EU maritime audit anew’
RAFFY AYENG March 20, 2019

THE PHILIPPINES will likely fail the audit of a European maritime agency because of quality problems in maritime training schools, an industry source claimed on Tuesday.

The source, part of an industry think tank, said many training institutions had been doing the same things over and over since the Philippines failed the audit of the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) in 2006.

“If we keep doing things the same, we will get the same results. There is nothing different, revolutionary or innovative that the Philippines have instituted. No, the Philippines will not pass,” he told The Manila Times.

The Philippines should overhaul its Maritime Education and Training (MET) system being implemented by the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina), which had been flagged many times by EMSA auditors, he said.

One Cebu school inspected in 2017, for instance, yielded 20 deficiencies, including “No Effective Monitoring” and “No Quality Management Implementation.”

“The Philippine MET should be transformed from its present qualification-based, to competence-based [system],” the source said.

“Besides tweaking, regulators should also replace academic subjects by performance/task/competence in accordance with the mandatory minimum requirements as per STCW 2010 Manila Amendments; restructuring of the current curriculum to align with STCW levels of responsibilities: support, operational, management; and the hybridization of the curriculum that should be implemented immediately which entails modular and ladderized curriculum in view to educate and train learners as support level then progress to operational level to management level,” he said.

STCW refers to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers.

Marina and the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) in October 2018 inked the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Executive Order 63 strengthening Marina’s authority in implementing the 1978 STCW.

Under Rule II of the IRR, Marina and CHEd are tasked to evaluate and inspect higher education institutions applying for approval to offer Bachelor of Science (BS) in Maritime Transportation and BS Marine Engineerin. They should ensure that the STCW mandatory professional and technical courses, as well as shipboard training, are compliant with the requirements of the 1978 STCW Convention as amended.

“A delegation from the European Commission is coming this April 2019 to verify what we are doing. EMSA is coming back for a follow-up audit the first quarter of 2020.

The Philippines has been failing the EMSA scrutiny. Definitely, a negative EMSA report will impact the seafaring industry. The Philippines kept on doing the same thing despite EMSA findings for 13 years now, surely the results will be the same,” the source said.

On March 15, Marina tapped the Philippine Normal University to help the Marina Board of Examiners in reviewing the table of specifications for various examinations, to comply with STCW.

On Monday, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. urged CHEd Chairman Prospero “Popoy” de Vera Jr. to promote the welfare of Filipino seafarers by tapping respectable auditors in checking the country’s maritime schools.