The North Western University welcomes STCW Forum speakers, guests, and coordinator to host the Usapang STCW Forum in its Media Room where a mix of students numbering more than a hundred attends the awaited talks.
Atty. Herschel F. Magracia presents the historical and legislative background that led to the creation of a single maritime administration through the enactment of Republic Act 10635. He explains that through R.A. 10635, the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) is empowered by law to deal with all issues pertaining to the standards of training, certification, and watchkeeping for seafarers. Atty. Magracia also expounds that the MARINA, through R.A. 10635, assumes all powers and functions of the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Technical and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Department of Health (DOH) and the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), relative to the issuance, validation, verification, correction, revocation or cancellation of certificates of competency, endorsement or cancellation of certificates of competency, endorsement, proficiency and documentary evidence required of all seafarers and all such other matters pertaining to the implementation of the oversight in the implementation of the STCW Convention 1978, as amended.
Meanwhile, Atty. Jabeth Sena Jepath A. Dacanay provides updates on developments that MARINA undertakes to create accessible points for seafarers to process their documents. She also explains that the course and skills upgrades required by MARINA with CHED are part of the mandate set in the law to ensure compliance with International Conventions on the Manila Amendments and all international agreements implementing or applying the STCW Convention, and other international maritime safety conventions or agreements that the STCW Convention seeks to promote compliance with.
The Manila Amendments seeks for continuous upgrade of seafarers worldwide in both technical and management skills after five years in order to keep alongside technological progress in shipping and ship management. It is also the reason Atty. Dacanay directs the maritime students to seek for higher positions in seafaring upon skills updating.
“We want to see Filipino seafarers in command of great ships and key to this pursuit is our continued compliance with the STCW Convention. Our maritime education and training must not only prepare our cadets and cadettes to pass the standards, but to prepare them for the real life situations at seas. Learning then must aim at supporting our cadets/cadettes reach their full potentials in their chosen field, become experts and educators, able to transfer their knowledge and expertise to the future,” Atty. Dacanay says further.
From the STCW Office are Ms. Josephine O. Castillo, Officer-in-Charge of the Examination and Assessment Division and Mr. Herbert V. Nalupa, Officer-in-Charge of the Public Information Division.
The Usapang STCW Forum is a regular weekly forum with stakeholders that aims to clarify pressing issues on standards of training, certification, and watchkeeping for seafarers and a venue for the MARINA to present status of developments it undertakes.