April 3, 2023

EU DECISION TO CONTINUE RECOGNIZING PHILIPPINE SEAFARER CERTIFICATES

KABAYAN Partylist Representative Ron Salo lauds the European Commission’s decision to continue recognizing the certificates for seafarers issued by the Philippines. This comes as a relief for the thousands of Filipino seafarers who form one of the world’s largest maritime labor supply countries, particularly to around 50,000 seafarers directly working in EU-flagged vessels. “The decision of the European Commission is a testament to the competence and efficiency of our seafarers and the quality of training and education they have received. It also reflects the efforts of the Philippine government in ensuring compliance of the country’s maritime education and training with the standards set by the International Maritime Organization (IMO),” Salo remarked. In December 2021, following a detailed assessment of the training and certification system in place, the Commission had informed the Philippines that recognition of their seafarer certificates would be withdrawn unless serious measures were taken, including the compliance with the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for seafarers (STCW). “I thank the European Commission for recognizing the value of Philippine seafarers and for their decision to continue recognizing our seafarer certificates. This decision will certainly help alleviate the worries and fears our seafarers are currently facing,” Salo said. Salo, Chair of the House of Representatives Committee on Overseas Workers Affairs, also praised the Philippine government, particularly President Bongbong Marcos, the Department of Transportation (DoTr), the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) for their efforts in ensuring the compliance of the country’s maritime education and training system with the standards under the STCW Convention.”I would also like to extend my gratitude to the House of Representatives, particularly to Speaker Martin Romualdez, and the Senate for their unwavering support in improving the welfare of our overseas Filipino workers, including our seafarers. This recognition by the European Commission is a testament to our collective efforts,” Salo added. Salo also expresses his thanks to his fellow champions in the House of Representives on the rights and welfare of our OFWs, including our seafarers. Specifically, he thanked MARINO Partylist Rep. Sandro Gonzales and OFW Partylist Rep. Marissa Del Mar Magsino. And certainly he also thanked Sen. Raffy Rulfo in the Senate. Salo emphasized that the country’s seafarers play a vital role in the global maritime industry and that their contributions are essential to the global economy. “This recognition is not just a win for our seafarers, but it is also a win for the entire country. We are proud of our seafarers, and we will continue to work towards their welfare and protection,” Salo said. “The decision of the European Commission is indeed a positive development for the country’s maritime industry and its seafarers. It is hoped that this recognition will lead to more opportunities for Filipino seafarers and help improve their working conditions and benefits,” Salo concluded.