Lunes, Hunyo 30, 2014


Sword of Damocles Hangs Over Seafarers
By: Susan Amoroso and Ver M. Garcia

With Marina Chief Dr. Mejia at the hearing conducted recently at Phil. Ports Authority in Manila. (Photo by Teddy Cho).

   The Philippines is not yet off the hook with the new rulings set by the European Commission (EC) in a protracted rule issuing a sustaining and broad based diplomatic offensive with a stern warning in the form of European withdrawal of recognition of the Philippines issuing certificates of Standard of Training and Certification & Watch keeping of Seafarers (STCW). Which means a potential loss of approximately 82,000 jobs for the seafarers working on EU ships will be imperiled.

   Based on the maritime audit and evaluations of  European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), after a series of auditing from the year 2006 up to the present. The Philippines did not performed well in the strict implementation of the STCW 2010 Manila amendments which explicitly mandates the MARINA to publish from time to time updated listings of training schools compliant with the STCW 2010 agreement and, phasing out of non compliant and below standard maritime training program.The new MARINA LAW(R.A.10635) together w/ its recently drafted IRR or Implementing Rules and Regulations. After a careful public consultation together with the Multi Lateral Technical Working Group (MTWG) at the Phil. Ports Authority Gender and Development Center held recently at Bonifacio Drive in Port6 Area, Manila. MARINA was mandated and empowered and expected to exert more efforts in informing the public on the status of all maritime schools nationwide and the consequences of enrolling in a non-compliant Maritime Higher Educational Institutions (MHEI's).

    The due diligence and serious efforts of the MARINA authorities and the government as well was noted by the Committee on Safe Seas and the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (COSS) and the overall assessment was not solely based on the findings and reports of EMSA. The COSS however, gave a favorable decision but requested the Philippine authorities to take positive actions to address the remaining shortcomings and report regularly. With the forthcoming EMSA audit/inspection, tentatively scheduled this September 29 to October 3, 2014. The country's future seafarers faith lies in a balance with the EC's warning as the sword of damocles hangs over our country's seafarers.###

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