The Department of Foreign Affairs has welcomed the decision by the European Commission to extend recognition of certificates issued by the Philippines to seafarers in line with the International Convention on the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) for Seafarers.
The DFA, in a statement, said the extension comes with conditions for the Philippines to meet and comply with its commitments to improve the process and implementation of the Philippine maritime education, training and certification (METC) system.
The DFA has assured that the government has viewed the inspections, verifications and evaluations conducted by the European Commission, through the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), constructively.
The DFA added that the government will exert efforts to elevate the METC system to the "highest standard," and ensure the best possible employment opportunities for Filipino seafarers, on domestic or foreign flag vessels.
The European Mobility and Transport Commission last 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.
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.
EU later said it will continue to recognize certificates of Filipino seafarers, saying the Philippines has made "serious" developments to comply with maritime labor requirements.
"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.