EU: Filipino seafarers' certificates will continue to be recognized


Posted at Mar 31 2023 10:25 PM

Job applicants line up outside the Luneta Seafarer’s Center in Manila on October 6, 2022. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN/file

MANILA - The European Union will continue to recognize certificates of Filipino seafarers, saying the Philippines has made "serious" developments to comply with maritime labor requirements.

The European Mobility and Transport Commission past December warned that Filipino seafarers will be banned from working in the regional bloc's jurisdiction if the Philippines did not comply with the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for seafarers (STCW). 

Around 50,000 Filipino seafarers working in European vessels were at risk of losing their jobs because of the country's repeated failure to pass the European Maritime Safety Agency.

"Since then, the Philippines has made serious efforts to comply with the requirements, in particular in key areas like the monitoring, supervision and evaluation of training and assessment," the commission said in a statement Friday. 

According to European Commissioner for Transport Adina Vălean, the Philippines provides a "significant and valued part of the European and global shipping industry’s maritime workforce – indeed, with roughly 50,000 Filipino masters and officers currently working on EU-flagged ships. 

"The Philippines can count on our technical support to further improve the implementation and oversight of minimum education, training and certification requirements, as well as living and working conditions," the official said.

EU said its transport commission "intends to provide the Philippines with technical assistance to further improve its education, training and certification system for seafarers, as was also discussed between EU President Ursula von der Leyen" and Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. last December.

Marcos in February said the Philippine maritime industry's development is a top priority of his administration.