Filipinos Plan To Avoid EU Ban Over Training

The Filipino Association of Mariners Employment is confident the Philippines will be able to avoid a European Union ban of Filipino seafarers on EU ships.

“The government of the Philippines and the industry are now in consultation on how to comply with the corrective actions,” said FAME director Marlon Rono .

“The government will issue orders and circulars to agencies involved and schools with deficiencies to comply within deadlines otherwise sanctions will be enforced. We expect positive developments to happen within the month of June.”

Mr Rono was responding to claims that the European Commission is considering a ban on Filipino seafarers on EU ships due to concerns over inadequate training at some training institutions in the Philippines.

A yet-to-be publicly released report by the Lisbon-based European Maritime Safety Association will now go to the Committee of Safe Seas, made up of representatives from the EU member states, for review and a possible decision on the ban.

But Mr Rono, who is also president of Magsaysay Maritime , said that the Philippines was taking the situation very seriously, with heavy involvement by the Maritime Training Council, Commission on Higher Education and even the president’s office.

“The industry is very involved in these processes and we are confident that the Philipines will achieve timely compliance,” he said.

The upcoming EMSA report, which is expected to detail deficiencies at certain maritime training institutes in the country, is the second such report, with the first audit taking place in 2006.

He said only a handful of the 80 or so institutions engaged in maritime training were not in compliance with standards and the government would take action to delist the schools with deficiencies until such time as they comply with regulations.

Mr Rono said the issue had the potential to impact the entire shipping industry given that the Philippines supplied 30% of all seafarers involved in global shipping.

A spokesman for Hong Kong-based shipmanager Anglo-Eastern said the issue was a longstanding one that only the Philippines could resolve.

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