April 29th, 2014

New law centralizes Seafarer training in the Philippines

Manila, Philippines – President Benigno Aquino III has finally signed Republic Act No. 10365 which creates a single maritime administration that will oversee the training and certification of Filipino seafarers.

The law was signed on March 13, 2014 and now designates the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) under the Department of Transportation and Communication as the single administration in the country to oversight the implementation of the 1978 International Convention of Standards of Training, Certification and Watch keeping for Seafarers (STCW).

This means that MARINA will now be responsible for the education, training and certification of seafarers and ensuring the competence of Filipino seamen. Thus, assuming the powers and functions of other government agencies in issuing, validating, correction and possible cancellation of certificates of competency, proficiency, endorsement and other documents required of seafarers.

The new law also aims to address the concern raised by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) about the competence of the country’s training of seafarers as some schools were previously criticized for not having proper programs.

The new law, according to MARINA chief, Maximo Mejia, Jr. ensures that such problems will be addressed by having a ‘system that works’ and avoid possible sanctions from the EU.