PBBM orders DOTr to prevent blacklisting of 50K Pinoy seafarers in Europe

PBBM orders DOTr to prevent blacklisting of 50K Pinoy seafarers in Europe

By Junex Doronio
November 5, 2022

MANILA — Following the finding by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) that the Philippines did not comply with some of the standards relating to certification, training, and watch-keeping (STCW), President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has ordered the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and other concerned government agencies to take steps to prevent the blacklisting of some 50,00 Filipino seafarers in Europe.

This was revealed by Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista who has assuaged apprehensions that tens of thousands of Filipino seafarers aboard European vessels are at risk of losing their jobs.

“The President’s directive during the Cabinet meeting was to specifically address the EMSA observations so we will be compliant and prevent blacklisting of our seafarers,” Bautista said.

He further bared that the EMSA audit, which was conducted in 2020, flagged 23 “grievances” in its findings.

“It’s important to say that we should not be alarmed by this because we did not fail the audit. There were findings. There were observations but the Philippine government through Marina (Maritime Industry Authority), the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), the Department of Migrant Workers, DOLE (Department of Labor and Employment), and the Coast Guard are working together to address all these issues,” the DOTr chief stressed.

For her part, Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) Secretary Susan “Toots” Ople confirmed that the President directed various agencies led by the DOTR to come up with a joint implementation plan to address the concerns raised by EMSA.

However, Ople clarified that the President “never ordered MARINA to be removed as an implementing agency nor did I ever say this in any interview.”

MARINA or the Maritime Industry Authority is mandated to integrate the development, promotion, and regulation of the maritime industry in the Philippines.

The daughter of the late Labor Minister Blas F. Ople during the regime of the President’s father, the late strongman Ferdinand Edralin Marcos Sr., also maintained that the DMW “fully supports the actions being taken by the DOTr and MARINA to ensure compliance with international maritime standards particularly on the education, training, and certification of Filipino seafarers.” (ai/mtvn)

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