National Quality Standards System (NQSS) to be implemented by MARINA
The Philippine government collectively collaborates with international governments to comply with the 2010 Manila Amendments to the Standards of Training, Certifications and Watch keeping (STCW) Convention.
Norwegian and Dutch governments are helping the agency in complying with STCW Convention according to the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA).
Atty. Nicasio Conti, officer-in-charge of the MARINA said that the agency and the Norwegian Maritime Agency crafted new National Quality Standard System (NQSS) consistent with the STCW Convention apart from the standard utilized by the previous administration.
With this new system, the administration will be able to enhance the capability to conduct audit through training of auditors, Conti explained.
At the same time, MARINA encourage its sister agencies to align with NQSS.
Atty. Conti also noted the different interpretations from various agencies and he reiterated that there should only be one interpretation and implementation plan for the Convention.
But even before the European Commission (EC) requested its member-states to extend assistance to the Philippines in complying with the STCW Convention, the Dutch government was already assisting the government.
The Philippine government has forged bilateral relations with the Dutch government on the mutual recognition of certificates among other interests. The Dutch government has been providing financial and technical aid to the Palompon Institute of Technology (PIT) in Leyte since 2001 to upgrade the quality of maritime education in the state-run institution.
In return, Dutch shipowners and operators employ the future marine officers from the said maritime institution.
At present, the Dutch administration is focusing on improving the conduct assessment of maritime education and training institutions (METIs), simultaneously the Norwegian government assists the Philippines in the development of NQSS.
When the adverse report of the EMSA came out, the Dutch government was one of the countries that immediately pledged support to the Philippine government. The EC-member state has been assisting the MARINA in addressing the concerns raised by EMSA.
Both Dutch and Norwegian governments dispatched technical group to Manila in 2012 which looked for areas where it could share expertise with the MARINA. The technical exams from both countries are expected to join MARINA until the scheduled next EMSA visit.
With this development, Conti commended the Dutch and Norwegian governments.