While Senator Win Gatchalian welcomed the decision of the European Union (EU) to continue recognizing the certificates of Filipino seafarers, he said the country still has to enhance the quality of maritime education and training to build our seafarers’ competencies and improve their overall competitiveness.
“I thank the European Commission for its continued recognition of Filipino seafarers’ certificates, and for acknowledging the country’s efforts to improve the training of seafarers,” Gatchalian said.
“The challenge remains for the Philippines to ensure that our seafarers are globally competitive given their critical role and contribution to the economic growth of the country,” he added, citing that his Magna Carta of Filipino Seafarers will be a significant step forward.
Senate Bill No. 822, which Gatchalian filed, seeks to protect Filipino seafarers beyond our borders and build their competency through education and skills training to sustain and improve their overall competitiveness and professional advantage.
Under Gatchalian’s proposed measure, the State shall endeavor to improve the seafarers’ working conditions, terms and conditions of employment, and career prospects, and to provide them opportunities to harness their potentials to the fullest. The State shall also uplift the socio-economic well-being of the seafarers’ families.
The sea-based remittances in 2021 reached $6.54 billion, which comprised at least 21 percent of the total dollar remittances of all Overseas Filipino Workers and is slightly higher than the 2020 sea-based remittances of $6.35 billion.
The European Commission said it has decided to continue recognizing certificates for seafarers issued by the Philippines. The Commission also recognized the Philippines’ serious efforts to comply with requirements in key areas such as monitoring, supervision, evaluation of training and assessment.
It can be recalled that in December 2021, the Commission informed the Philippines that unless measures are taken such as compliance with the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for seafarers (STCW), recognition of Filipino seafarer certificates would be withdrawn.