THE Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) can now heave a sigh of relief after the European Commission (EC) agreed to recognize Filipino seamen as being compliant with the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) for seafarers.
In a statement, DMW Secretary Susan Ople thanked the EC for its decision to continue recognizing certificates for seafarers issued by the Philippines.
“With this decision, a crisis of monumental proportions has just been averted,” Ople said.
"Roughly 50,000 jobs of Filipino masters and officers aboard European vessels have been saved in light of the decision," she added.
The DMW chief said they believe that the decision is in accordance with their view that Filipino seamen are highly qualified.
"Our seafarers are among the best in the world and this decision by the European Commission reflects that," said Ople.
The official, though, assured EC that the Philippines will not be contented in just meeting the requirements of the former.
“We look forward to the start of technical cooperation between the Philippines and EC in professionalizing and further improving the skills of Filipino seafarers,” said Ople.
In 2022, it was revealed that Filipino seafarers are at risk of losing jobs with European Union (EU) ships.
This as the Philippines has continuously failed to pass the European standards on training, certification and watchkeeping for seafarers since 2006.
In response, President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. directed the DMW, Department of Transportation, Maritime Industry Authority, and Commission on Higher Education to work on STCW compliance.
Ople issued the statement while in Geneva, Switzerland to head the Philippine delegation to the 21st Session of the United Nations Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families. (SunStar Philippines)
April 01, 2023
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