Manila to ‘Do Everything’ to boost maritime sector, says President Marcos

MANILA, April 2 (Bloomberg): Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Sunday said his government will "do everything” to address outstanding issues confronting its maritime industry after the European Commission agreed to continue recognizing government certificates issued to its seafarers.

The Philippines is one of the world’s top suppliers of maritime labour and Marcos cheered the Commission’s move, saying it averted the potential loss of 50,000 jobs - the number of Filipino seafarers working on European Union-flagged ships - according to a tweet by his communications office.

The European Commission warned in December 2021 that it would withdraw recognition of Philippines-issued certificates unless measures were taken to address training and other procedures.

The Commission said Friday it would continue accepting Philippines-issued paperwork following the nation’s efforts to comply with requirements.

Marcos said the concern over the seafarer certificates had been a problem for workers for 15 years, and was among the issues he discussed with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen when he visited Brussels in December.

The Commission said it will provide the Philippines with technical assistance to further improve education, training and certification for seafarers, including implementation and oversight of minimum education and living and working conditions.

Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista on Saturday said the government has committed to address remaining areas identified by the Commission that require improvement.

He said his department is complying with Marcos’s directive "to go beyond the minimum expected by international maritime authorities.” - Bloomberg

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