You are here

CHED: Marcos wants review of 83 maritime schools done in 2 years

CHED: Marcos wants review of 83 maritime schools done in 2 years
Ashzel Hachero - April 17, 2023

PRESIDENT Marcos Jr. has ordered the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to reevaluate the performance of 83 maritime schools across the country within two years, CHED chairperson Prospero de Vera said yesterday.

The directive came after 50,000 Filipino seafarers working in European vessels nearly lost their jobs due to the country’s repeated failure to pass the European Safety Maritime Agency (EMSA) evaluation with the 1978 International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers.

The Philippines is a top supplier of seafarers in the world and these maritime workers remitted about P376 billion annually.

Last month, the European Union decided to continue its recognition of the certificates issued for seafarers by the Philippines.

De Vera said CHED has committed to thoroughly check the performance of maritime schools to ensure that they are always in full compliance not only with EU regulation but also of other international regulations.

“Ang timetable na ating ipinangako sa kanila ay makakapag-evaluate tayo ng 30 schools per year. Medyo mabigat na ‘yan pero ang sabi ng Pangulo, baka pwedeng dagdagan ang ating ma-evaluate na ‘yung 30 ay baka pwedeng 40 per year (The timetable that we promised them is we will be able to evaluate 30 schools per year. That’s a bit heavy but the President said he hopes we can increase the number to be evaluated to at least 40 per year),” De Vera told radio dzBB.

He said with the President’s directive, CHED will conduct evaluation within two years without compromising the quality of the evaluation.

He added the President said CHED should aim not only for minimum compliance but for a higher one so that the reputation of Filipino seafarers will not only be maintained but also enhanced.

De Vera said CHED will also look at how to further improve the curriculum in the maritime schools and into new technology being used by training schools.

Earlier, De Vera said 15 maritime programs, including in maritime transportation and marine engineering, were closed last year for non-compliance with the standards.

However, he said, the commission needs more personnel to monitor the compliance of maritime schools, noting CHED and the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) lack personnel to do the job.

Aside from the closure of non-compliant maritime programs, De Vera said CHED has also imposed a five-year moratorium on the opening of new maritime programs to make sure the review of all maritime schools can be undertaken before adding new ones.

He added that CHED and MARINA are working with the management of maritime schools to ensure the quality of their degree programs.