Philippine politicians vote to get STCW clearance

Manila: The wheels are grinding into action among Philippine politicians keen to avoid the nation’s ship officers being blacklisted by the EU. Following president Benigno Aquino’s publicly stated determination to ensure the country’s officers are not blacklisted by the EU in the wake of an audit last October the senate has approved a bill to ensure the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) is the sole agency in charge of training and issuing certificates to over 400,000 Filipino seafarers.

“With the passage of the bill, we can now say that our country is taking broad efforts to maintain our compliance with the STCW Convention, thus averting any need for the EU to proceed with their ban on our workers,” senate president Frank Drilon said Drilon had been the motion’s biggest proponent.

The bill is expected to be signed into law by the president this month.  [11/02/14]