THE MARITIME Industry Authority (MARINA) will implement full compliance with STCW standards set in the Manila Amendments by January 1, 2017 — a clear message sent out during a dialogue dubbed “Usapang STCW (Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers) Forum” in Cebu to maritime stakeholders: shipping and manning agencies; maritime higher education institutions (MHEIs); maritime training institutions (MTIs); maritime assessment centers (MACs); maritime training centers (MTCs); maritime students and seafarers.
“Seafarers must not slack over their updating or refresher courses; they need to take it immediately in order to abide by the requirements set by the Convention in the Manila Amendments, as it is an international standard put in place by the International Maritime Organization in 2010,” stresses Atty. Jabeth Sena Jepath A. Dacanay, Deputy Executive Director of the MARINA STCW Office, and one of the panelists in the dialogue. She likewise enjoins the support of both manning and shipping agencies to require their seafarers to undergo the needed refresher or updating courses before the deadline.
“Flocking to the MARINA offices on the eleventh hour will be a major remiss on your part as MARINA might not be able to accommodate the influx, should that scenario take place,” Atty. Dacanay says further.
“As with the maritime colleges and training centers, the courses they provide must also be compliant with the requirements of the Convention to assure foreign principals that our seafarers are aligned with the skills and proficiency preconditions the international maritime shipping industry demands,” Atty. Dacanay explains.
The dialogue kicks off with a presentation by Atty. Herschel F. Magracia of the historical background that marked the urgent need for a single maritime administration accountable for the standards of training, certification, and watchkeeping duties of seafarers, including, together with CHED (Commission on Higher Education), the monitoring and assessment of maritime higher education institutions, training centers and institutions, assessment centers and their trainers. Atty. Magracia is Director of the MARINA Enforcement Service and Officer-in-Charge of the MARINA STCW Office Legal Division.
Usapang STCW is a regular weekly dialogue, every Thursday, between the STCW Office and stakeholders in venues held nationwide. It is a forum where questions are answered and other updates and relevant information are shared.
The “Usapang STCW Forum” was held at the Convention Hall of the Sacred Heart Center in Cebu City, March 31, 2016, 9:30 AM.