Filipino seafarers who are employed in European shipping companies can now let go of the worry that we might be blacklisted in these foreign owned vessels in the next audit to happen this October as Vice President Binay guaranteed in a statement that it will not happen.
Binay who is also the presidential adviser on overseas Filipino worker (OFW) concerns said that the assurance was given to him by Mr. Henry Shumacher who is the Vice President for External Affairs of the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines.
The Vice President said, “I have been assured by the businessmen in a meeting that the Philippines would not be blacklisted from European-flagged vessels."
In a speech he delivered during the celebration of the 18th National Seafarers' Day in Manila, Binay said, "This was again reaffirmed to me last July by the Vice President for External Affairs of the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) Henry Schumacher."
However, Binay reminded Filipino seamen that the good news should further drive them to improve their skills.
Binay said, "These assurances are heartwarming, but should not be reason for us to relax our drives or aims."
The Philippines continues to be the leading source of manpower for international shipping vessels. Other countries with many seafarers are India, China and few European countries.
Thousands of Filipino seamen that are employed in various shipping companies are threatened last April when the result of an audit showed that the Philippines does not meet the standards set in the 1978 International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watch keeping for Seafarers (STCW).
Binay also relayed in his speech that he went to Germany last June and met with businessmen to assure them that the Philippines is taking major step to enhance our maritime industry. The audit team is set to conduct another inspection this October.
Binay also explained to the businessmen in Germany that the global maritime industry would also suffer if ever Pinoy seamen will be blacklisted in EU vessels.
The Vice President also said that though a passing score in the EMSA audit is important, it is just the "first of many goals."
He said, "EMSA is but a port of call as we complete our voyage of reasserting the Philippines as a maritime powerhouse, the first choice when it comes to seamen and marine professionals."