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Authorities eye curriculum improvements, assistance to seafarers to improve PH maritime industry

Authorities eye curriculum improvements, assistance to seafarers to improve PH maritime industry
CNN Philippines Staff Apr 7, 2023

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 7) — Curriculum evaluation and assistance to seafarers were some of the programs discussed by authorities during a recent interagency meeting to address the deficiencies raised by the European Commission and enhance the country’s maritime industry, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said.

The meeting held this week, led by DOTr Sec. Jaime Bautista, “focused on the Maritime Industry Authority’s (MARINA) response to narrow the gaps and issues concerning the European Maritime Safety Agency’s (EMSA) findings in relation to Philippine compliance with the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) for seafarers,” the department said.

This was conducted after the EU Commission for Transport confirmed on March 31 that it will continue recognizing certificates for seafarers issued by the Philippine government. It also cited several areas that Manila has to improve on, which includes monitoring, and evaluation of training; assessment of competence; and program and course design.

During the discussions, Bautista requested the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to help evaluate and monitor the curriculum of maritime schools, the DOTr said.

CHED and the MARINA were also tasked to recommend areas where the EU may provide technical assistance, it added.

“The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, under the DMW [Department of Migrant Workers], was requested to look into any possible assistance that can be extended for Filipino seafarers to be able to pursue further training for career advancement,” the DOTr said.

Bautista said there should also be closer coordination between his department and the DMW for better monitoring of Filipino seafarers.

Authorities are also thinking of placing the National Maritime Polytechnic, which is under the DMW, tentatively under the DOTr, the department said. This will be included in a draft memorandum of understanding to include the responsibilities and tasking of participating agencies, it noted.

Representatives from the Department of Labor and Employment, and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) were also present during the meeting.

The DFA earlier said that 50,000 Filipino seafarers deployed in the EU were at risk of losing their jobs if the commission decided to stop recognizing seafarers’ certificates issued by the Philippine government.