PHL briefing European diplomats regularly on EMSA issues–DOTr

THE government is conducting a “regular diplomatic briefing” with envoys from different European nations to assure them that the Philippine government is “committed” to comply with the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping (STCW).

Transportation Secretary Jaime J. Bautista said he has already met with the ambassadors of Norway and France and plans to meet the other envoys soon, noting that the government is already addressing the issues that European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) raised on the Philippine maritime industry.

“Our plan is to have a regular diplomatic briefing, which I already started,” he said. “I will meet some other ambassadors to assure them that the government is committed to comply with the requirements of the STCW as far as standards are concerned.”

To recall, EMSA in 2020 said there were 13 major findings, three minor findings, and 48 specific findings to the country’s compliance with the STCW.

The Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) has since said it has been implementing corrective measures to meet the international standards. This includes measures to improve education, system processes, and procedures within the agency.

About 50,000 seafarers are expected to be affected should the Philippines fail in EMSA’s review set for November.

Bautista explained that the department is working with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), the Department of Migrant Workers, and local maritime institutions to “solve this problem.”

Majority of the issues pertain to the training and education of Filipino seafarers.