MANILA – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) commit to fully comply with the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) for seafarers to maintain its status in the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) “White List.”
The DOTr-MARINA is taking the necessary steps to consistently improve the country’s maritime education, training, examination, and assessment system.
According to DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade, the MARINA should do its utmost to ensure that the country’s status in the IMO remains.
“Dugo’t pawis ang puhunan ng ating mga marino sa kanilang trabaho. Hindi matatawaran ang sakripisyo at karangalang ibinibigay nila sa bayan kaya nararapat lang na dugo’t pawis din ang ipuhunan ng gobyerno upang masigurong mananatili tayo sa IMO White List. Kailangang protektahan natin ang kabuhayan at kapakanan ng ating mga marino,” Secretary Tugade said.
Independent Evaluation as Part of Continuing Compliance
Starting April 2019, a panel of international maritime experts will conduct an independent evaluation as part of the Philippines’ continuing compliance with the pertinent provisions, particularly Regulation I/8 or in the area of Quality Standards, of the International Convention on STCW, 1978, as amended.
As a State Party to the STCW Convention, the Philippines is mandated to ensure that an evaluation is periodically undertaken by qualified persons who are not involved in the implementation of this international regulatory instrument in the country.
The evaluation is aimed at providing an independent assessment of the effectiveness of the quality standard arrangements at all levels.
Meanwhile, MARINA OIC Administrator Vice Admiral Narciso Vingson Jr. is confident that the evaluation of the country’s STCW system will solidify the Philippines inclusion in the “White List” of the IMO.
“Our engagement with the professional services of independent evaluators shows our full efforts in maintaining our seafarer’s reputation worldwide as a dependable maritime workforce. We will continue to comply with IMO standards for the benefit of our seafarers,” Vice Admiral Vingson said.
The results of next month’s evaluation will form part of the regular Communication of Information of the Philippines to the IMO as required under Regulation I/7 of the Convention.
Caution against undue panic
Contrary to recent reports, the Philippines is still included in the “White List” of the IMO, signifying the nation’s compliance with international maritime standards.
This is attested by the IMO MSC Circular (MSC.1/Circ.1163/Rev.11) published on 14 December 2018.
The “White List” refers to parties confirmed by the IMO Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) to have communicated information that demonstrates the full and complete effect that is given to the relevant provisions of the STCW.
In a statement released on 21 March 2019, the DOTr and MARINA cautioned the public to remain vigilant against claims that the country was allegedly excluded from the IMO White List.
With proof of compliance with IMO standards, the livelihood of the country’s over 400,000 seafarers ultimately continues to be among the top priorities of the DOTr and MARINA.
PHL remains in IMO White List
Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga — The Philippines remains in full compliance with the International Convention on the Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW Convention), 1978, as amended, of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), as signified by the country’s continued inclusion in the “IMO White List.”
The so-called “White List” refers to a list of parties confirmed by the IMO Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) to have communicated information that demonstrates the full and complete effect that is given to the relevant provisions of the STCW.
The incontrovertible proof of this compliance is the MSC Circular (MSC.1/Circ.1163/Rev.11) published on 14 December 2018, which categorically includes the Philippines in the list of STCW-compliant parties.
In this regard, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) maintain that reports on the Philippines’ alleged exclusion from the IMO White List are without factual and sufficient basis.
We caution the public against efforts to generate undue panic to the country’s over 400,000 seafarers and their families.
Even as the Philippines’ inclusion in the White List is confirmed, the DOTr-MARINA continues to assure all stakeholders that it is exerting maximum efforts to maintain its status of compliance with IMO standards.
In fact, pursuant to its mandate, the MARINA will be attending the Sixth Session of IMO’s Sub-Committee on HTW on 29 April to 3 May 2019 in London, United Kingdom, as part of the Philippine delegation to bolster our position in the White List.
The DOTr-MARINA bears paramount pride in the world-class qualities of our maritime workforce, and will do its utmost to secure the viability of livelihood of our seafarers.
We remain positive in maintaining our seafarers’ standards of service as a prime reflection of Philippine maritime excellence.
MARINA CONFIRMS THE PHILIPPINES IS STILL IN IMO “WHITELIST”
The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), otherwise known as the Maritime Administration of the Republic of the Philippines pursuant to Republic Act No. 10635, confirmed that Philippines is still in the International Maritime Organization (IMO) list of “Parties confirmed by the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) to have communicated information which demonstrates that full and complete effect is given to the relevant provisions of the STCW Convention, 1978, as amended” or the so-called IMO “Whitelist”.
This information is based on MSC.1/Circ.1163/Rev.10 dated 23 May 2016 and MSC.1/Circ.1164/Rev.18 dated 24 July 2017 which contains the existing list. In accordance with Regulation I/7 of the STCW Convention, 1978, as amended, the IMO Secretariat facilitates the preparation of the list of Parties which have submitted a report demonstrating full and complete implementation of the relevant provisions of the Convention.
The IMO Secretary-General then submits the list for review and confirmation by the MSC and publishes it in the form of the aforementioned MSC Circulars. It is for this reason that the IMO Secretariat prepared a proposed revised list, which would be a living document for the continuing inclusion of Parties or countries fulfilling their obligations under the said regulation of the Convention.
This proposed revised list is included as Agenda item 12, for consideration and discussion during the Sixth Session of IMO’s Sub-Committee on Human Element, Training and Watchkeeping (HTW) on 29 April to 03 May 2019. Pursuant to its mandates, MARINA will be attending the said HTW Session as part of the delegation of the Republic of the Philippines to participate in the discussion and assert appropriate position regarding the proposed document.
The Philippine government, through the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the MARINA, assures the maritime industry stakeholders of its unwavering commitment in carrying out its obligation under the Convention. With national legislations coupled by the necessary quality standard and IT support systems in place, the MARINA is confident of the Philippines’ continuing inclusion in the “Whitelist”