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Marina taps industry experts to address EMSA issues

Marina taps industry experts to address EMSA issues
March 13, 2021

INDUSTRY stakeholders threw their full support to the initiative of the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) in addressing the concerns raised by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) on the country’s compliance with the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) Convention.

About 500 stakeholders participated from March 11 to 12 in the virtual workshop organized by Marina to finally settle the EMSA issues that dogged the industry for more than 15 years.

Marina Administrator Robert Empedrad reached out to the industry’s collective expertise and, at the same time, promoted transparency in Marina’s effort to res olve the EMSA issues.

The participants were mostly administrators of maritime schools nationwide, training managers of maritime training institutions and top executives of crewing companies as well as leaders of manning groups and industry associations.

They were joined by officials from Marina, the Commission on Higher Education and the Technical Panel for Maritime Education, as well as officials of the Transportation department headed by Assistant Secretary for Maritime Affairs Narciso Vingson Jr.

On Thursday, Sam Batalla of the STCW Office identified 13 shortcomings in six key areas in the country’s enforcement of the STCW Convention: program and course approval; monitoring, examination and assessment of competence; training facilities and equipment; on-board training and certification.

He also disclosed the observations made by EMSA related to the possibility of issuance of certificates to seafarers who have not fully complied with the requirements under the Convention; the issuance of a redundant document and the role of liaison officers.

If these shortcomings were not resolved this year, about 80,000 Filipino marine officers might be barred from serving on board European-flagged vessels.

The participants were then divided into discussion groups to tackle the identified shortcomings in the key areas and proposed corrective actions to address these shortcomings.