You are here

CHED ensures maritime schools adhere to int’l standards

CHED ensures maritime schools adhere to int’l standards
Merlina Hernando-Malipot October 29, 2018

The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) has collaborated with three other key agencies of the government to ensure compliance of Philippine maritime institutions to international standards.

Issuing a statement, CHED Chairman J. Prospero de Vera said that the four key agencies of government have joined forces to “ensure Filipino seafarers remain competitive globally.”

Recently, De Vera – along with officials from the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), Department of Health (DOH) and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) –s igned the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Executive Order (EO) 63, the “Further Strengthening the Authority of the Maritime Industry Authority as a Single Maritime Administration for the Purpose of Implementing the 1978 International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW Convention) for Seafarers, as Amended.”

The EO 63 was signed by President Duterte on Sept. 21, 2018. The signing of the IRR, De Vera said, was “to seal this new collaborative undertaking.”

Aside from strengthening of the MARINA as the country’s single maritime administration, the IRR provides guidelines in the evaluation of requests for approval of the Bachelor of Science in Marine Transportation and Bachelor of Science in Marine Engineering programs, and other programs that will be developed and will require compliance to the STCW Convention.

In his remarks, De Vera reiterated the CHED’s commitment to comply with STCW Convention, “which can be attained through concerted efforts of government agencies.” CHED and MARINA, he said, “agreed to jointly exercise supervision of maritime higher education institutions (MHEIs), with MARINA leading the review and inspection of requests for government authority as well as in the monitoring and evaluation of existing MHEIs, which are now operationally possible by virtue of the provision of EO 63.”

De Vera explained that the policy of the Duterte Administration for agencies to “work together to solve problems made it possible for CHED and MARINA to sit down and harness their respective strengths.” The IRR is the “product of this governmental approach,” he said

For some time now, the Philippine maritime education programs “have been under scrutiny” due to the concerns raised by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) on compliance to the STCW Convention, he said.

The EMSA is the arm of the European Commission that ensures that countries involved in seafaring comply with the policies of the European Union on maritime safety.

“Rest assured that CHED will work closely with MARINA to ensure the implementation of the STCW Convention as amended so that the country remains in the white list of countries eligible to supply qualified and competent seafarers to the world seaborne trade,” De Vera said.

The EO also directed CHED to reconstitute the Technical Panel on Maritime Education (TPME). The new members were sworn-in on October 9. Prior to the signing of the IRR, CHED and MARINA already signed the Joint CHED-MARINA Memorandum Circular No. 1 on July 10. The said guidelines outline four important areas of collaboration: (1) qualifications and composition of the monitoring team; (2) key areas of evaluation; (3) conduct of monitoring and evaluation of findings; and (4) reporting and appeal procedures.