MANILA — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Sunday said his administration would continue to find solutions to further improve the Philippines’ maritime industry, after the European Commission deferred its decision to decertify maritime standards and seafarer trainings from the Southeast Asian country.
“Labis kong ikinagagalak na nabigyan ng extension ng European Commission ang ating mga seafarers sa kanilang certification upang patuloy silang makapagtrabaho,” he said in a statement.
“Gagawin natin ang lahat upang mabigyan natin ng solusyon ang mga isyung kinakaharap ng ating maritime industry upang patuloy tayong mag-develop ng mga world-class at magagaling na seafarers para sa buong mundo,” he said.
The Department of Transportation earlier said that while the Commission has acknowledged the country’s efforts to improve its monitoring, supervision and evaluation for the training and assessment of those seeking to find jobs aboard sea vessels, the Philippines has yet to address at least 5 deficiencies.
Among these are the inclusion of simulators in maritime schools, on board trainings and the improvement of the issuance and revalidation of certificates and endorsements for seafarers, the DOTr had said.
“Ang naturang problema ay 15 taon nang kinakaharap ng ating mga seafarers kaya ito agad ang ating tinutukan noong tayo’y pumunta sa Brussels noong Disyembre upang makipagkita sa presidente ng EU na si Ursula von der Leyen,” Marcos Jr. said.
“Dahil dito, ang panganib na mawawalan ng trabaho ang 50,000 nating seafarers ay ating napigilan,” he said.
As of 2022, there are some 490,00 Filipino seafarers in different parts of the world.
Migrant Workers Secretary Susan Ople said that the government expects that number to rise after the Philippines secured the continued certification of the European Commission.
The demand of Filipino seafarers will further skyrocket should the Philippines legislate a magna carta for seafarers, she said.