Bautista: We did not fail EMSA assessment

Department of Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista has stressed that the Philippines did not fail in its compliance with international conventions on seafarers as he assured that the Marcos administration is up to the task of sustaining the country’s status as the crewing capital of the world.

“We did not fail the assessments of the European Maritime Safety Agency or EMSA and by the IMO (International Maritime Organization). Their findings are seriously being addressed and corrective measures being put in place,” Bautista told local and foreign delegates at the ongoing Crew Connect Global Conference and Exhibition at Sofitel Philippines Plaza in Pasay City on Tuesday.

The DoTr, through the Maritime Industry Authority, is exerting efforts to consistently implement and monitor the corrective actions for the benefit of almost 50,000 Filipino seafarers now employed by European shipowners, Bautista added.

The secretary said addressing the assessment findings of the European Commission and the IMO independent evaluators are part of the agency’s 10-point Maritime Industry Development Plan, which also includes modernization of domestic vessels, expansion of shipbuilding and repair facilities, building of a marine industrial park, development of inland waterway networks, marine environment protection, among other initiatives.

“Our goal at the Department of Transportation is to entrench the position of the Philippines as the Maritime Capital of the World by supplying the seafarers of choice for the global maritime industry,” Bautista said.

According to Bautista, seafarers are considered as key global workers for facilitating the movement of 90 percent of goods worldwide. A third of world-movers are Filipinos, he said.

More than 600,000 Filipino seafarers worldwide directly contribute to the socio-economic development of the country through their $595 million remittances in September 2022 alone and projected year-end remittance of $7.1 billion, he said.

Meanwhile, the Crew Connect conference will end Thursday, 24 November. It covers recruitment and retention, training and safety at sea, mental health and well-being.

The conference and exhibition take place every year in the Philippines and bring together leading shipping professionals from all over the world, shipowners, ship management companies, crewing agents, maritime trainers and educators, and health care providers.

Dubbed as the biggest manning event in the world, the conference also brings new perspectives in crewing strategies for a better, safer and more efficient way in bringing people and goods to all parts of the world.

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