Transportation Secretary Jaime J. Bautista assured Filipino seafarers that the government is actively addressing the findings of the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) to avoid the Philippines from getting “blacklisted” by European-based shipping companies.
“It’s important that we should not be alarmed by this because we did not fail the audit,” Secretary Bautista said.
Secretary Bautista said President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. ordered the creation of a body to monitor and work closely to ensure that the Philippines comply with the European Maritime Safety Agency’s (EMSA) evaluation and pass the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW).
Tasked to tackle the country’s EMSA compliance are the Department of Transportation (DOTr), Department of Labor and Employment – DOLE, Department of Migrant Workers (DMW), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of the Philippines (DFA) and Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA).
“It was the President’s directive during the Cabinet meeting, so we will be compliant and prevent blacklisting of our seafarers,” he said.
“There were findings, there were observations but the Philippine government, through MARINA, CHED, Department of Migrant Workers, DOLE and PCG are working together and closely regarding this,” he added.
According to Secretary Bautista, Filipino seafarers are still being deployed to the EU, with European shipping companies expressing their intention to hire more seafarers.
“Filipino seafarers are still being employed. In fact, in our meetings with European Ambassadors, they said that European shipping companies still prefer to hire Filipino seafarers,” Secretary Bautista explained.
“We will continue to update the EU of what the Philippine government, through different agencies, are doing to maintain the Philippines’ membership with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and continue the employment of Filipino seafarers to the EU,” he added.