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Pinoy seafarers' accreditation at risk if maritime schools will not comply with CHED order

May 30, 2013 7:38pm
The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) has urged several marine higher education institutions (MHEIs) to follow the closure or phaseout orders it has given them to avoid jeopardizing the employment of Filipino seamen overseas.

This was regarding the visit this October of the European Maritime Safety Administration (EMSA), a European Union agency charged with reducing the risks in maritime accidents, marine pollution from ships, and loss of human lives at sea.

According to JP Soriano's report on GMA News TV's "State of the Nation” on Wednesday, Filipino seafarers may be removed from the list of accredited mariners if the steps the Philippines has taken to improve the quality of maritime training fail to satisfy EMSA.

The report said last month, CHED ordered several schools to gradually phase out or immediately close their BS Marine Transportation or BS Marine Engineering programs because of perceived lack of quality in line with EMSA standards.

CHED has yet to release the names of the schools that are unqualified as well as those who have no issues.

According to the report, 44 MHEIs were ordered to close their BS Marine Transportation programs, while 21 others were ordered to gradually phase out the programs. On the other hand, 34 MHEIs offering BS Marine Engineering programs were ordered to be closed by CHED, with 24 others to be phased out.

There are 91 MHEIs in the Philippines.

Some schools have already complied with the CHED order, but some have taken to court to apply for temporary restraining orders on the matter, the report said.

CHED asked the concerned schools to comply for the sake of Filipinos.

"Kung sila'y magmatigas, makikita rin ng European Union na 'Look, how can they maintain quality, they can't even close substandard programs',” CHED chair Patricia Licuanan said.

Even seafarers already employed may stand to lose their jobs if the EMSA does not like the developments, the report noted.

"Ang pinaka-nakakatakot is this: na in October, that they say, 'That's too bad, we like the Filipinos, they're good, but we cannot be guaranteed standards in training and whatever, so they're off the 'white list.' That's the most nakakatakot. Sana hindi nga mangyayari 'yan,” Licuanan said.

The report noted that some maritime schools are doing what it can to comply with standards of quality education. It also said that these schools are also clarifying the steps CHED wants to be taken. Gian Geronimo/KBK, GMA News
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