The House of Representatives has ratified a measure designating the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) as the sole agency that will enforce the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) for Seafarers.
The House adopted Senate Bill 2043 which mandates Marina to act as the single and central maritime administration for all purposes relating to compliance with the STCW Convention and administer the implementation of the STCW Convention and all other international conventions or agreements.
The measure allows Marina to assume the powers and functions of the Professional Regulation Commission, Commission on Higher Education, Technical Education and Skills Development, Department of Health and the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) when it comes to the issuance, validation, verification, correction, revocation, or cancellation of Competency, Endorsement, Proficiency and Documentary Evidence required of all seafarers.
All Certificates of Competency, Endorsement, Proficiency and Documentary Evidence issued before the effectivity of the measure will be deemed valid without necessity of revalidation or reissuance until the date of expiration as stated in such certificates or other documents.
The measure tasks Marina to establish a STCW services within its office to be headed by persons who are also qualified seafarers such as licensed Master Mariners and/or Chief Engineers who are well-versed or specially trained in the STCW Convention.
The bill also provides for the inclusion of the Commandant of the Philippine Coast Guard as a member of the Maritime Industry Board in lieu of the Secretary of National Defense.
LLANESCA T. PANTI