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Pinoy Seamen Will Not Be Blacklisted in European Union

Vice President Jejomar Binay expresses relief over the assurance from the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) that Filipino seamen will not be blacklisted by the European Union (EU). The good news was relayed by the Vice President for External Affairs of ECCP, Henry Schumacher. He said that deployment of Pinoy seafarers in EU-flagged vessels will continue.


Binay said, "I am relieved to hear such reassurance that 80,000 of our seafarers in Europe are safe from the blacklist.”


The speculation that Filipino seamen might get banned started when maritime schools in the Philippines were audited by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) last April and showed that they are not at par with the EU standards. The Philippines failure to comply with the 1978 International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) posed a threat to the employment of thousands of Pinoy seafarers.


To remedy the situation, Binay who also happens to be the Presidential Adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers Concerns went to visit Hamburg, Germany last June and promised the EU shipowners that the Philippines is serious and committed in its effort to comply with the requirements set by  the STCW.


A follow-up inspection by EMSA on Philippine maritime schools is scheduled in October and Binay is confident that the Philippines will get a passing mark by then.  


The director of Marina overseas shipping, Arsenio Lingad also guarantees to the Vice President that the Philippines will meet the EMSA requirements.


Binay said, “It is crucial that we fulfill the requirements, knowing that the jobs of 80,000 of our seafarers in Europe as well as the rest of the 400,000 Filipino seamen in various foreign flagged vessels would be affected if we fail the upcoming EMSA audit.”

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