By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat
Starting November 5 this year, Filipino seafarers are directed to set an online appointment for the processing of their Seafarer’s Identification and Record Book (SIRB) or seaman’s book.
This was the offshoot of the official launch of the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) SIRB Online Appointment System yesterday, Friday.
The implementation of the SIRB Online Appointment System is in line with the computerization and automation of all Marina processes, which is on top of the Marina’s 14-Point Agenda for 2018.
The SIRB Online Appointment System is just one of the various systems that will comprise the Marina’s Integrated Management System which will ensure that the agency exercises strict and uncompromising quality procedures in the delivery of public service.
Marina continues to thrive in providing faster, more convenient, and more efficient public service to maritime stakeholders, especially to Filipino seafarers who contributed US$5.8 billion in the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2017.
With the SIRB Online Appointment System accessible at the Marina’s official website (www.marina.gov.ph), Filipino seafarers may save time and energy, allowing them to spend more of their precious off-work period with their families and loved ones, instead on processing centers to prepare for their upcoming sea service.
The official launching of the SIRB Online Appointment System happened at the “Usapang STCW Forum” where approximately 500 maritime stakeholders participated on discussions relative to maritime education, training, and certification for Filipino seafarers such as the Marina’s framework in producing competent seafarers, the agency’s strategies on ensuring quality maritime education through outcome-based education, as well as the Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping for Seafarers 1978, as amended (STCW)-compliant maritime training programs in the Philippines.
The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the Department of Health (DOH) were also present in the forum to lead discussions on the control procedures to verify required sea service of Filipino seafarers, and the established medical standard for medical fitness and procedures for the issuance of medical certificate to Filipino seafarers, respectively.
Finally, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), and the Joint Manning Group (JMP) were also in attendance to share the employment opportunities available for Filipino seafarers.