European Union Ambassador to the Philippines Luc Veron hailed the assurance of support made by Albay Rep. Joey Salceda to help improve the international training standards of Filipino seafarers as the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) conducts its audit this month.
In a letter sent to Salceda, Veron thanked the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee for raising the “particular significance” of the EMSA inspection report as well as for his support for the country’s compliance with the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW).
“The authorities of the European Union are aware of the economic and social significance that the employment of Filipino seafarers has for the Philippines, but also for the European Union,” the ambassador wrote.
Salceda had earlier written Veron to assure him of Congress’ full support for improving the training standards for Filipino seafarers as EMSA undertakes an audit of the country’s compliance with international training standards.
“Europe-hired Pinoy seafarers are some of our highest foreign currency earners. They account for some 50,000 very well-paid jobs. And we could lose a big number of those jobs if we fail the EMSA audit once again this November,” Salceda wrote in his November 3 letter to the ambassador.
“In view of the EMSA audit for compliance with the International Convention on the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) this November, and in view of the urgency of keeping logistics secure during this turbulent period for the global economy, please be reassured of my full support for any initiative you may forward on the subject.”
“As a senior member of the Congressional leadership team, I would like to express my interest in working with the European Union’s delegation to the Philippines to forward the interests of both Filipino seafarers and European shipping and logistics in areas such as Filipino seafarer training,” Salceda added.
Salceda noted that “over the past few months, the European maritime industry has relied heavily on Filipino seafarers, who are culturally predisposed towards the West.”
“They have very few problems with us culturally, but we need to boost our training and take serious heed of the concerns of EMSA. We have been failing their audits for at least 16 years already,” he said.