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Marina wants to enhance training program for Filipino seafarers

Marina wants to enhance training program for Filipino seafarers
Lorenz S. Marasigan July 3, 2023

The Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) said it will include international labor best practices in the training of Filipino seafarers as part of the European Maritime Safety Agency‘s (EMSA) €4-million technical assistance.

Marina Executive Director Samuel Batalla said the Philippines will discuss this with their European Commission (EC) counterparts in Brussels this week, including the presentation of how Marina will use the technical assistance effectively.

Batalla said the €4-million technical assistance, which will be fully financed by the EU-Member States and be supervised by the EC Directorate General for Mobility and Transport (DG-MOVE) and DG for International Partnerships (DG-INTPA), will cover the implementation of the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) Convention.

The technical assistance will also include aspects of the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) 2006, specifically in areas of recruitment and placement of Filipino seafarers, Batalla added.

The inclusion of MLC 2006, according to Batalla, aims to “expand the program, which aims not only to ensure compliance with the STCW Convention but also to share best practices relating to other international conventions concerning seafaring and the maritime industry in general.”

Batalla noted that the European Commission will evaluate the country’s “state of play” on the implementation of the corrective actions addressing the grievances noted by the commission before the start of the program of technical assistance in 2024, giving EC an opportunity to identify the specific assistance needed by the Philippines.

Earlier this year, the EC announced that it continues to recognize the Philippines to be generally compliant with the STCW System. However, the European Commission (EC) still found “issues to be addressed” in the country’s maritime industry.

This prompted the EC to extend a three-year technical assistance to the Philippines to implement corrective actions.

Earlier, the Marina said it will establish a technical working group together with the Commission on Higher Education, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, and the Department of Migrant Workers to address pending issues, leveraging the EC’s funding aid.