The Philippines is seeking an extra 12 months from the European authorities to show that the changes to its maritime administration over the last year and a half are sufficient to meet to the EC’s STCW audit criteria, according to a leading maritime executive from the country.
Gerardo Borromeo, vice chairman and ceo of Philippines Transmarine Carriers (PTC), tells Seatrade Global that it was not a case of buying more time, “but really providing the time necessary for the proper traction to take place on all changes.”
The Philippines implementation of STCW underwent its second audit in 2013 by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) in October, with the threat of a ban of Filipino officers from EU-flagged ships hanging over it, in a process which has been ongoing now since 2006.
The results of the audit have since been sent to the Philippines government and which has made its response to the report. Borromeo, who is also president of Intermanager and vice chairman of the International Chamber of Shipping, says that the report basically said there was not sufficient evidence had implemented all the changes that had required.
However, he noted that while the EC could say, “you have had six, seven years, your time is up,” it should be viewed in perspective of the trajectory of change that has taken place since 2012. “The message we need to take to EMSA is don’t look at the period prior to 2012, look at what happened between 2012 and 2013, and look what is happening now.”
In 2012 an Executive Order of the President Benigo Aquino brought all the various bodies in charge of maritime training and certification under the Maritime Industrial Authority (Marina), however, it lacked legal teeth to make it effective.