MARINA submits proof of compliance with int’l safety audit

MANILA The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) has submitted its proof of compliance with the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), an official said Thursday.

This is how confident, serious, and committed we are in dealing with the EMSA issue. Failure is not in our options, MARINA Officer-In-Charge Vice Admiral Narciso Vingson Jr. said in a statement.

He said the agency aims to close the gap in its noted areas of improvement in the country's maritime education, training and certification system of Filipino seafarers.

MARINA transmitted before October 31 the remaining initiatives being pursued by the Philippines to address the findings noted in the European Commission Assessment Report on the country's maritime education, training, and certification system conducted last March.

Among these are the amended legislations, inter-agency cooperation initiatives, and good governance measures on the administration of maritime education and training programs, assessment of seafarer competence, and the issuance of Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping for seafarers (STCW) certificates.

A major part of these initiatives is the extensive review and revision of seven existing national legislations and the development of six training course packages, which are now ready for implementation.

MARINA has also collaborated with the Commission on Higher Education, the Department of Health, and the Philippine Coast Guard in reviewing the existing policies, standards, and guidelines governing the Bachelor of Science in Marine Transportation and Bachelor of Science in Marine Engineering programs, as well as in evaluating the compliance of maritime higher educational institutions on the trainings and courses offered to aspiring Filipino mariners.

The issuance of Executive Order No. 63, series of 2018 and its Implementing Rules and Regulations is also a manifestation of the government's resolve to strengthen MARINA as the single maritime authority that will take charge of the full implementation of the STCW Convention in the Philippines.

EMSA has noted that there are still 59 aspects that the Philippines has yet to comply with to pass the maritime safety audit.

If the Philippines will not be able to pass the audit, European shipping companies will not recognize the certifications of Filipino seamen, which will result in their non-deployment in shipping vessels to European countries.

Meanwhile, the Philippines has intensified its preparations for the independent evaluation of its implementation of the STCW Convention by the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

MARINA has created a task force on the STCW Mandatory Independent Evaluation, which will conduct an internal audit of the country's compliance before the independent evaluation between January to March 2019.

The Philippines targets to submit its compliance report with the STCW Convention to the IMO on or before September 2019. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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