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Pinoy Abroad

Marcos orders creation of panel to address deployment concerns of Filipino seafarers

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has ordered the creation of an advisory board composed of representatives from government agencies, international shipowners, and other stakeholders to address the deployment concerns of Filipino seafarers.

According to the Office of the Press Secretary, Marcos issued the directive during a meeting with international maritime employers and various shipowners in Brussels.

The President is in Belgium where he is slated to attend the ASEAN-European Union Summit later this week.

Marcos told the European Union’s transport officials during the meeting that the Philippine government was working hard to address certification issues concerning Filipino seafarers to make them compliant with the Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping (STCW) Convention.

“Our seafarers are of great importance to the Philippines in many, many ways. Although we recognize that in the last many years, the Philippines has done very well in terms of being the leading seafarers around the world, however, with the changing situation after the pandemic, with the changing situation especially when we talk about supply line problems, all of these areas have to be revisited,” Marcos told shipowners and stakeholders.

“That comes with the training, changes in the curriculum, all of these things have to be ascertained,” he added.

Malacañang said the move was part of the Marcos administration’s efforts to comply with the standards of the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) standards after the EU flagged the Philippines for deficiencies in local seafarer training and education.

An estimated 50,000 Filipino seafarers in European vessels are reportedly in danger of losing their jobs due to the Philippines' repeated failure to hurdle the EMSA evaluation over the past 16 years. —Ivan Mayrina and Richa Noriega/NB, GMA Integrated News