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Deployment of Pinoy seafarers down in ’17, plunged to 304,209 from 406,531 in 2016

Deployment of Pinoy seafarers down in ’17
June 08, 2018

The Philippines has to address gaps in the education and training of its seafarers in order to stay competitive as a major source of crew personnel at a time when global offshore deployment of ships is slowing down.

Data show deployment of Filipino seafarers in 2017 plunged to 304,209 from 406,531 in 2016.

Seafarers remit close to $6 billion to the country annually.

Rey Leonardo Guerrero, administrator of the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) said at the Maritime Forum at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) in its audit last March found some “gaps and deficiencies in the Philippine education in relation to standards of certification. In particular, the audit noted the need to update the facilities and equipment of schools and to enhance on-site training which is deemed insufficient due to lack of ships.

“We have to take seriously the findings of EMSA to maintain competitiveness,” Guerrero said.

The number of maritime schools has gone significantly to 65 from 100 as most had closed their programs. These schools churn out 27,000 graduates every year.

“The failure to address the outstanding issues raised by the European Commission in its assessment of Philippine maritime education, training, and certification system will affect the continuous employment of Filipino masters and officers who are currently recognized by the EU member states. Such failure may result to an adverse action of the EU to withdraw recognition of certificate of competencies (COCs) issued by the Philippines,” Guerrero told the forum.

Guerrero said being a maritime labor-supplying nation in all capacities and levels of responsibilities on board international seagoing ships, the withdrawal of EU’s recognition for COCs issued by the Philippines to its seafarers will surely have a domino effect in all aspects and sectors of the maritime industry locally and internationally.