MARINA SETS TRAINING STANDARDS FOR 4 MANDATORY STCW COURSES ON IGF, POLAR CODES

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – To ensure quality maritime education and training in the country, the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) has recently issued new training standards for four (4) mandatory courses as part of Philippines continuing compliance with its obligations under the International Convention on Standards, Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) for Seafarers 1978, as amended.

These four (4) new training standards include the Basic Training for Service on Ships Subject to the International Standard for Ships Using Gases or Other Low-Flashpoint fuels for propulsion otherwise known as the IGF Code; Advanced Training for Service on Ships Subject to the IGF Code; Basic Training for Ships Operating in Polar Waters; and Advanced Training for Ships Operating for Polar Waters.

These new training standards have been developed to meet the requirements of Chapter V/3 and Chapter V/4 relating to the International Standard for Ships Using Gases or Other Low-Flashpoint fuels for propulsion, otherwise known as the IGF Code and Chapter V/4 for the International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (Polar Code), respectively. The Polar Code is mandatory under both the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) and the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL).

The IGF Code contains mandatory provisions for the arrangement, installation, control and monitoring of machinery, equipment, and systems using low-flashpoint fuels to minimize risk to the ship, its crew, and the environment. Meanwhile, the Polar Code covers the full range of design, construction, equipment, operational, training, search and rescue, and environmental protection matters relevant to ships operating in the inhospitable waters surrounding the two poles.

Training standards for Basic Training for Service on Ships Subject to the IGF Code were issued in accordance with Table A-V/3-1 of the STCW Code and Advanced Training for Service on Ships Subject to the IGF Code, with Table A-V/3-2.

Moreover, to comply with the requirements of SOLAS, MARPOL Convention and the STCW Convention, particularly Regulation V, in paragraphs 2 and 3, the Administration has issued the training standards for Basic Training for Ships Operating in Polar Waters and Advanced Training for Ships Operating in Polar Waters, in accordance with Table A-V/4-1 and Table A-V/4-2 of the STCW Code, respectively, for seafarers on board vessels navigating in waters surrounding North and South Poles.

The issuance of these additional training standards is timely as the transition period provided in Chapter V for Contracting Parties to STCW Convention to comply is about to expire. With the availability of these training courses in the country, Filipino seafarers do not need to attend these courses abroad.

These additional training courses can be implemented through blended learning mode of training, subject to compliance of the MTIs with the guidelines stipulated in Annex A as provided in MARINA Advisory No. 2020-69.
It may be recalled that STCW Circular No. 2018-02 was issued prescribing the standards for the implementation of all the mandatory training courses required for certification under the STCW Convention for Seafarers 1978, as amended.

In the development of training STCW related training standards, the MARINA has continuously partnered with private stakeholders, academicians, and relevant government agencies to ensure that the standard of competence required under the STCW Code is fully met. This collaboration allowed the MARINA to complete and approve twenty-three (23) training courses as published through STCW Advisory No. 2019-05 which provided clarifications and supplemental guidelines for their implementation.

The above-mentioned training standards can be accessed through the website <https://stcw.marina.gov.ph/policies/approved-circulars/>