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May 2024 News Updates

May has been a remarkable month for the Philippine maritime industry, marked by significant achievements and legislative advancements that underscore the nation's pivotal role in global shipping. From reaching an all-time high in seafarer deployment to securing a coveted spot on the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) white list, the Philippines continues to solidify its reputation as a leading provider of world-class maritime professionals. These milestones, coupled with the legislative triumph of removing the execution bond provision in the Magna Carta of Filipino Seafarers, have not only enhanced the welfare and protection of Filipino seafarers but also reinforced the country's commitment to maintaining high standards in maritime education, training, and certification.


Record Deployment and International Recognition

The maritime industry in the Philippines continues to thrive, demonstrating remarkable growth and resilience. In 2023, the country saw an all-time high deployment of seafarers, with over 500,000 Filipinos serving on international vessels. This significant milestone highlights the ongoing demand for skilled maritime professionals from the Philippines. The Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) emphasized that approximately 30% of Filipino seafarers are still awaiting deployment, reflecting the robust nature of this sector and the opportunities that lie ahead.


The Philippines has also been reinstated on the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) "white list," affirming its status as a key provider of world-class seafarers. The inclusion signifies that Filipino seafarers meet the rigorous standards set by the IMO Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping (STCW) Convention. This recognition is a testament to the country's commitment to maintaining high standards in maritime education, training, and certification.


Transport Secretary Jaime Bautista stated, "Our goal is to entrench the position of the Philippines as the Maritime Capital of the World by continuously supplying the global maritime industry with high-standard Filipino seafarers." The Department of Transportation (DOTr) remains committed to addressing challenges in the maritime industry, ensuring that Filipino seafarers continue to excel on the global stage.


Legislative Milestones and Seafarer Welfare

In legislative news, the removal of the controversial execution bond provision from the Magna Carta of Filipino Seafarers marks a significant victory for the maritime community. Senator Risa Hontiveros praised the deletion of the provision, which would have required seafarers to pay a bond before receiving monetary benefits arising from disabilities. This legislative change is expected to alleviate financial burdens on seafarers and enhance their protection against abuses and violations of their rights.


The Senate ratified the Magna Carta of Filipino Seafarers, reinforcing the rights, safety, and welfare of Filipino maritime workers. KABAYAN Party-list Representative Ron P. Salo described this as a "resounding victory" for the maritime industry. The legislation not only fortifies the rights of seafarers but also aligns the Philippine maritime sector with stringent international standards, setting a global benchmark for excellence.


International Partnerships and Future Prospects

Furthermore, the Philippines and Qatar have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the mutual recognition of seafarers' certificates. This agreement is expected to facilitate work opportunities for Filipino seafarers aboard Qatari-flagged vessels and promote economic growth within the maritime industry. The MOU aligns with the amendments of the STCW Convention and supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth.


In light of these significant developments, it is clear that the Philippines continues to strengthen its position as a leading maritime nation. The advancements in legislation, international recognition, and strategic partnerships all contribute to a brighter future for Filipino seafarers and the global maritime industry.


At Lacerta, we are inspired by the resilience and dedication of Filipino seafarers. The recent achievements in the maritime industry underscore the importance of high standards, legislative support, and international cooperation. We remain committed to supporting the maritime community, ensuring that every seafarer receives the recognition and protection they deserve. Together, we can navigate towards a future of excellence and prosperity in the maritime sector.



Sources:

Seafarer deployment saw an all-time high in 2023 —DMW


Philippines makes it to IMO 'white list' — DOTr


Removal of execution bond ‘victory’ for Filipino seafarers – lawmaker






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