So said Atty. Nicasio A. Conti, officer-in-charge of the Maritime Industry Authority and spokesperson of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) in a report filed by Philippine Information Agency.
“One out every four seafarers in the international seaborne trade is a Filipino. That is why all our efforts are geared toward ensuring that the Philippines will remain number one in providing qualified and competent seafarers worldwide….”
In a paper entitled “Maritime Workforce Innovation in the Philippines” he reported during the recently held 2012 National Shipping Industry Conference at Park Hyatt Hotel in Melbourne, Australia, Conti assured the country is ‘committed’ to remain at the top among seafaring-producing nations.
Also he announced to conference participants mostly comprising large shipping companies in Australia and other parts of the global maritime industry recent reforms and initiatives undertaken by the Philippine government to further its maritime profession.
Accordingly the reforms include the Philippine implementation of the Manila amendments to the International Convention on Standards of Training, the certification and watchkeeping for seafarers, and the status of Philippine efforts to ratify and implement the 2006 Maritime Labor Convention (MLC, 2006).
Other initiatives implemented by the government are the ratification of the Seafarers Identity Document Convention, and other programs to enhance and promote the competitiveness of Filipino seafarers.
The innovation in the adoption and implementation of critical changes is important to promote efficiency in the overall performance of the maritime workforce, Conti said.
These changes include the enhancement of existing human capacity and the reengineering of the regulatory framework to make it consistent with international practice pursuant to Executive Order No. 75, the DOTC official added.
Issued and signed by President Benigno Aquino III in April 30, 2012, EO 75 designates the DOTC through the MARINA as the single and central maritime administration for the Standards of Training, Certification & Watchkeeping or STCW.