Manila, Philippines – Representatives of the European Maritime Safety Agency recently arrived in the country to verify improvements in the Philippines’ compliance with the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW).
The visit of the EMSA team, led by Dr. Jaime Veiga and Capt. Antonio Hevia Rodriguez, will verify if the country’s maritime training have complied with international standards especially after EMSA pointed the deficiencies specifically the so-called “fly by night” maritime schools.
“The EMSA audit conducted on Philippine maritime education, training, and certification system is a matter of national interest considering that any action or decision rendered by the European Commission based on the EMSA findings will determine the fate of Filipino seafarers as far as employment of these seafarers on European flag vessels is concerned,” read the joint statement of the Department of Labour and Employment (DOLE) and Commission on Higher Education (CHED).
“The withdrawal of EU’s recognition could threaten the position of the Philippines in the International Maritime Organization “White List” of countries that are compliant with the requirements of the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping for Seafarers and will definitely have a detrimental effect not only on the country’s reputation in the international maritime community but also on the nation’s economy,” the statement further explained.
The European delegation initially assessed the Maritime Training Center’s presentation of the inspection team and validation of the program schedule, the course review and approval, as well as the monitoring, measurement and evaluation of all training and assessment.
The EU delegates will also assess the Philippines’ new simulators, quality standards system, governmental accreditation, monitoring, applicable national regulations on education and training as well as course design, training, monitoring and supervision, examination, admission of students, issuance of diplomas and documentary evidence.