By Emmie V. Abadilla
The Philippines successfully sustained its status in the updated IMO White List of nations compliant with the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) 1978, as amended.
During its 101st session held from June 5 to 14, 2019, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Maritime Safety Committee confirmed that the Philippines has communicated its full and complete demonstration of the relevant provisions of the STCW Convention.
Staying on in the IMO White List is a confirmation of the country’s consistent efforts in producing globally competent Filipino seafarers via enhanced maritime education, training, assessment, and certification system, stressed Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) OIC Administrator Vice Admiral Narciso A. Vingson Jr.
“This maintains the Philippines’ strong position in the international maritime community and secures the employment of thousands of Filipino seafarers manning internationally flagged vessels and supporting the national economy through remittances,” he added.
The Marina should ensure the country’s continuing compliance with international maritime standards, specifically at the upcoming IMO Member State Audit Scheme (IMSAS) in 2021, says Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur P. Tugade.
The IMSAS will look into the country’s implementation and enforcement of the provisions of mandatory IMO instruments pertaining to STCW, safety of life at sea, prevention of pollution from ships, load lines, tonnage, as well as regulations for preventing collisions at sea.
“We are happy with this development, but the more important thing is our ability to sustain this development,” he underscored. “That is why I challenge Marina to consistently exert all efforts to further strengthen the country’s performance of its obligations and commitments as an IMO Member State. Ultimately, our seafarers, their families and our nation stand to gain from this consistent compliance.”