Steps Taken to Produce Better Filipino Seafarers

In a meeting with President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. at the White House, Prospero de Vera 3rd, the Head of the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd), reported that since 2022, 15 maritime institutions had been shut down for failing to comply with maritime regulations.

Filipino Seafarers
Image for representation purposes only

He assured the President that his team was taking quick action to address any lingering non-compliance issues in the industry.

To ensure these standards are met, CHEd imposed a five-year moratorium last year on new maritime training programs, making it the first time such an action has been taken in maritime education.

De Vera continued to explain that they need to be able to keep an eye on maritime schools and ensure they have all of the necessary equipment and faculty as well as good facilities to reach the desired competencies and meet European marine safety requirements.

He concluded by emphasizing that onboard training is essential so that, at the end of it all, seafarers will be up to international standards.

The CHEd chairman stated that they have a lot of work to do in monitoring and evaluating all of the maritime education institutions in the country and need to look for other allies to help monitor compliance.

He also mentioned that as Marina is understaffed and schools are dispersed across the country, this makes it difficult.

This comes after the European Commission’s (EC) decision to extend the European Union’s (EU) recognition of Philippine credentials for seafarers on board European boats, following months of concern that 50,000 Filipino seafarers aboard European vessels could lose their jobs.

Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista reported to President Marcos that EC had positively acknowledged their “serious efforts to comply with the requirements”. To move forward, Bautista said they discussed how to address lingering maritime education issues.

Reference: Philstar, The Manila Times

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