Marcos orders creation of advisory board on seafarer concerns

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President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. meets with international maritime employers and shipowners in Brussels on Dec. 13. — OFFICE OF THE PRESS SECRETARY

PRESIDENT Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. has ordered the creation of an advisory board that would address the concerns of Filipino seafarers, according to the Palace.  

“Although we recognize that in the last many years, the Philippines has done very well in terms of being the leading seafarers around the world, however, with the changing situation after the pandemic, with the changing situation especially when we talk about supply line problems, all of these areas have to be revisited,” he was quoted telling international maritime employers and shipowners in a meeting in Brussels. 

“That comes with the training, changes in the curriculum, all of these things have to be ascertained,” he added.  

The advisory council will be composed of various government agencies with the goal of preventing potential job losses of almost 600,000 Filipino seafarers worldwide. 

Migrant Workers Secretary Maria Susana V. Ople told the same meeting that her department plans to meet with the Philippine Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) and other relevant institutions to help establish the body.  

The measure comes after the European Union (EU) raised concerns about the Philippines’ compliance with international maritime standards on training last month.  

Following an inspection conducted in 2020, the EU agency said the Philippines lacked compliance in education, training and certification in the maritime industry.  

Almost 50,000 Filipino seamen working in European vessels were at risk of losing their jobs due to the Philippines’ failure to match EU maritime training standards, according to the European Maritime Safety Agency. — John Victor D. Ordoñez