PH thanks EU for ruling on Filipino seafarers
President Marcos on Sunday thanked the European Union (EU) for continuing to recognize the certification issued to Filipino seafarers onboard European vessels.
“I’m overjoyed that the European Commission (EC) gave our seafarers an extension of their certification so they can continue to work,” the President said in a short statement.
Mr. Marcos said the government “will do everything to provide solutions to the issues confronting our maritime industry so that we can continue developing world-class and skillful seafarers for the whole world.”
“The said problem has been confronting our seafarers for 15 years that is why we concentrated on it when we were in Brussels last December to meet with EC President Ursula von der Leyen. Because of this, we averted that danger that our 50,000 seafarers will lose their jobs,” he recalled.
The problem stemmed from the government’s failure to implement remedial measures and comply with the European Maritime Safety Agency (Emsa) standards, which he brought to the attention of EU officials during his visit to Brussels, Belgium last year.
The President said Von Der Leyen, during their meeting, said the EC would provide technical assistance resolve the deficiencies that the Emsa reported in its 2020 audit concerning the Philippine maritime sector’s compliance with the 1978 International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW).
DFA lauds EC’s recognition
The EC, which serves as the EU’s executive arm, earlier warned that the trade bloc’s recognition of seafarer certificates issued to Filipino seafarers would be withdrawn unless measures to comply with the STCW convention and other Emsa standards were undertaken.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) also welcomed the EC’s continued recognition of the seafarer’s certificates of Filipino sailors.
“The Philippines has viewed the inspections, verifications and evaluations conducted by the European Commission, through the [Emsa], constructively,” the agency said.
It added the government is “firm in its commitment to meet the same, mindful that these are in the interest of ensuring the best possible conditions for Philippine seafarers looking to serve on EU-flagged vessels.”
The DFA added that the government will exert efforts to elevate the Philippine system to the “highest standard,” and ensure the best possible employment opportunities for Filipino seafarers, on domestic or foreign flag vessels. INQ
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