MALACAÑANG said on Thursday that the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) will inspect all maritime schools in the Philippines to ensure their compliance with the standards of the European Union (EU).
“It was announced yesterday [during a meeting at the Palace] that there will be an agreement brokered by the DoTr (Department of Transportation) between the CHEd and the MARINA (Maritime Industry Authority), where the CHEd will now undertake supervision and inspection of all maritime schools to ensure compliance with the EU standards,” Presidential Spokesperson Herminio L. Roque, Jr. said in a briefing at the Palace.
He added: “Because of the importance of this matter, and because of the fact that Filipinos comprise the biggest number of seafarers, the President decided to supervise the compliance of our maritime schools.”
Mr. Roque said the government hopes to meet the submission deadline for the compliance program to the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA).
“We target to meet the deadline. We will have to submit the plan on how we are going to comply with the requirements of the European Union,” he added.
MARINA Administrator Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero said last month that EMSA, a regulatory arm of the European Commission that ensures that countries involved in seafaring comply with the policies of the European Union on maritime safety, has raised concerns about the Philippine maritime schools’ compliance with the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW).
Mr. Guerrero said the Philippines is “on track” to meet the deadline. — Arjay L. Balinbin