MANILA — The Philippines, through the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), has successfully sustained its status in the updated “IMO White List,” showing the list of Parties compliant with the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) 1978, as amended.

During its 101st session held from 05 to 14 June 2019, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Maritime Safety Committee discussed and confirmed that the Philippines has communicated its full and complete demonstration of the relevant provisions of the STCW Convention.

MARINA OIC Administrator Vice Admiral Narciso A Vingson Jr said that the Philippines’ continuing inclusion in the IMO White List is a confirmation of the country’s consistent efforts in producing globally-competent Filipino seafarers through the enhancement of maritime education, training, assessment, and certification system.

“This positive development not only maintains the Philippines’ strong position in the international maritime community, but also secures the employment of thousands of Filipino seafarers manning internationally-flagged vessels and supporting the national economy through remittances,” Vice Admiral Vingson said.

For his part, Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade acknowledged the good news and challenged the MARINA to ensure the country’s continuing compliance with international maritime standards, specifically at the upcoming IMO Member State Audit Scheme (IMSAS) in 2021 that will look into the country’s implementation and enforcement of the provisions of mandatory IMO instruments pertaining to STCW, safety of life at sea, prevention of pollution from ships, load lines, tonnage, as well as regulations for preventing collisions at sea.

“We are happy with this development, but the more important thing is our ability to sustain this development. That is why I challenge MARINA to consistently exert all efforts to further strengthen the country’s performance of its obligations and commitments as an IMO Member State. Ultimately, our seafarers, their families and our nation stand to gain from this consistent compliance,” Secretary Tugade said.