The below is a maritime news update on December 2011 for reader blog Berita Kapal, enjoy reading blog here, thank you for you coming again in the future
The Philippines last month shut down three allegedly substandard maritime training establishments. The move came as a result of the European Commission's threat to "derecognise" all new certificates issued anywhere in the country.
The move has reportedly sparked protests where up to 13,000 students were only told of the closure of the BS Marine Engineering and BS Marine Transport degree courses at the Philippine Maritime Institute two weeks after they had enrolled.
As the rules stand, the commission has only the "nuclear option" of refusing to recognise all new seafarers from what is by far the largest labour supply country, and cannot single out training establishments case by case.
Although the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) has consistently declined to make its findings public, it is understood to recommend that recognition of Filipino STCW certificates be withdrawn unless the issue is resolved.
Maritime academies in the Philippines reportedly turn out 280,000 graduates every year. That is well in excess of the 229,000 said to be serving on ships at any one time.
Seems that it really is time for both the Philippines to get its house in order, but also for the Europeans to get their sleeves rolled up and help out. This is only going to end in tears if not fixed properly. At the moment young people who dream of going to sea are suffering, the safety of life at sea could be under threat and if this plays out wrong the entire shipping industry could lose its future manning supply.
These are dangerous and difficult times – and it seems that all stakeholders need to sit down, with all their cards on the table to find real solutions. Pinpoint the bad schools, assist the students to relocate, close them down and pour resources into rewarding the good schools and the best people. Supplement this with a system of independent policing, and low and behold we could be looking at solutions not threats and problems
Tagged @ maritime news