Reforms in seafarers' training sought as Philippines averts job loss
Posted at Apr 01 2023 01:57 PM | Updated as of Apr 01 2023 06:38 PM
MANILA (UPDATED) — Lawmakers on Saturday said training and education should be strengthened among Filipino seafarers after the Philippines averted a potential job loss for them.
The European Union has said it would continue to recognize certificates of Filipino seafarers following "serious" developments made by the Philippines to comply with maritime labor requirements.
Previously, 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.
In a statement, Sen. Risa Hontiveros called on the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to continue to remedy the deficiencies observed in the nation's education system.
"Let us continue to push for industry-wide reforms," Hontiveros said as she welcomed the positive development.
"Kailangang may natutunan sa naging banta sa hanapbuhay ng ating seafarers. Hence, it is imperative that concerns voiced by seafarers themselves, such as unreasonable fees, corruption in training and maritime schools, requirements, and others, be given greater consideration," the lawmaker added.
Meanwhile, OFW party-list Rep. Marissa Magsino echoed Hontiveros' call, saying that maritime education should be refined.
"We have to recalibrate the maritime education in consultation not only with the academic experts but also with experienced seafarers themselves," Magsino told ANC's Dateline Philippines.
For her part, Sen. Grace Poe said the government "should embark on continuous skills training to increase the viability of our workers."
"The government and private sector should step up efforts to use the period allowed by the EU to boost training and seriously heed the issues raised by the European Maritime Safety Agency," she said.
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has said that the maritime industry's development is a priority of his administration.
Sen. Risa Hontiveros, Marissa Magsino, European Union, seafarers, Filipino seafarers, European Maritime Safety Agency, EMSA, ANC, ANC promo