VP Binay: PHL Maritime Education to Pass EU Standards
Vice President, Jejomar Binay expressed confidence that the quality of maritime education in the country will get a passing mark in the next performance audit to be done by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) in October.
The last performance audit done in April of this year showed that the quality of maritime education, training and competency certificates of the Philippines is not at par with the European standards.
The failed mark posed a serious threat to the 80,000 Filipino seamen who are currently employed in EU-flagged shipping vessels because the EU might ban future deployments. It also prompted the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to order the phase-out and closure of 123 out of 157 maritime training programs all over the Philippines.
To prevent the EU ban, Vice President Binay assured the German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle that the Philippines has been taking concrete steps to comply with the 1978 International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW).
In fact, an executive order to provide an agenda to ensure that maritime sector in the Philippines remain competitive globally was issued by President Aquino.
In a news release posted in the website of the Office of the Vice President, Binay said, “We are confident that the Philippines will pass the next EMSA audit in October this year as there is clear progress towards full compliance with the Convention.”
Meanwhile, German Minister, Westerwelle sees the Philippine economy as a “powerhouse” in the region. He even called for expansion of bilateral cooperation across the board during his recent official trip to Manila. He was also impressed when he visited Döhle Institute, a maritime center that trains Filipino seafarers in Manila.
In Hamburg, a roundtable discussion was held to forge a “maritime strategic alliance” between Germany and the Philippines. Binay also said that the Germany acknowledge the Philippines as an important maritime nation and the important role that the Filipino seafarers play in maritime shipping and trade.
Binay is also hoping for the cooperation of German stakeholders to enhance the quality of maritime training centers in the Philippines.