By Genalyn Kabiling
Malacañang has clarified that the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) will take the lead in the inspection of maritime schools in the country to ensure compliance with international regulations.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque highlighted the role of MARINA amid government efforts to comply with requirements imposed by the European Union.
“MARINA will take supervision of the maritime schools. At present, they are supervised by CHED,” he said.
Roque earlier announced that CHED would take supervision and inspection of maritime schools, citing an imminent agreement with MARINA on the matter. The planned agreement on enhancing the training of Filipino seafarers was tackled in President Duterte’s recent meeting with the Cabinet in Malacañang.
“It was announced yesterday (Wednesday) that there will be an agreement, brokered by DOTr (Department of Transportation), between the CHED and MARINA where the CHED will now undertake supervision and inspection of all maritime schools to ensure compliance with the EU standards,” Roque said during a Palace press briefing last Thursday.
“Dahil sa importansya ng bagay na ito, dahil tayo pa rin ang pinakamaraming mga Pilipino na nagtatrabaho bilang seamen, ang Presidente mismo ang nagsu-supervise ng compliance ng ating mga maritime schools [Because of the importance of the matter, because Filipinos comprise the largest number of seafarers, the President is supervising the compliance of our maritime schools],” he added.
Roque said the government hopes to meet the deadline on the submission of compliance program to the EU.
The European Maritime Safety Agency, a regulatory arm of EU on maritime safety, conducts regular audits to ensure seafarers working on board EU-flagged ships are competent.