Philippine Maritime News

President Aquino emerge EO 75 creating STCW Administration

The Executive Order (EO) designating the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) as the single maritime administration solely responsible for implementing the amended STCW Convention and Code has formally signed by President Noynoy Aquino.

Signed on April 30, 2012, EO 75 has long been overdue and is foresee to correct the deficiencies on certification, training and competency of international-going seafarers.

The EO is also expected to meet and correct the safety concerns expressed by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) that threatens the jobs of about 80,000 Filipino seafarers working onboard European-flagged vessels.

The EO provides that the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), through MARINA, shall practice oversight and supervision over compliance with all qualification requirements and conditions under the STCW Convention, amended, relating to maritime education, training and certification, subject to existing and applicable news.

The EO Explained “For this purpose, and subject to existing and applicable laws, MARINA is hereby authorized to issue the appropriate certification for the deployment of seafarers in the international seaborne trade consistent with the STCW 2010 Manila amendments”.

It abolishes the Maritime Training Council (MTC), which administered STCW Code for over a decade.

The EO added “The functions of the existing Maritime Training Council (MTC) shall be transferred to the DOTC, through MARINA. Its functions, the records, equipment, facilities, rights and other assets and personnel are hereby transferred to the DOTC, through MARINA”.

EO 75 also renders that MARINA shall likewise review existing laws, rules and regulations, and undertake appropriate actions to recommend to congress the enactment of appropriate measures to revise or amend any and all existing laws, whenever warranted, to comply with and implement STCW Convention.

MTC and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), meanwhile, will continue to discharge their respective functions until such time that the DOTC, through the MARINA shall have fully established procedures relative to the transfer and assumption of functions stated in the EO.

The steering committee tasked to complete the implementing rules and regulations of the EO have started to lay down initial ground works for the IRR as of the moment. Several hearings for all stakeholders had already scheduled by the group in order to come out with a guideline acceptable to everyone.

At the start of the year the Manila amendments to the STCW Convention and Code have taken effect. Still, full implementation is expected only by 2017 as it also provides for a 5-year transition period.