Philippine leader Marcos Jr cheers EC move as job losses for 50,000 seafarers averted

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Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr on Sunday welcomed the European Commission’s (EC) decision to continue recognizing certificates issued by his country for Filipino seafarers, saying it averted job losses for roughly 50,000 sailors.

The EC had warned in 2021 it would withdraw its recognition of Filipino seafarers’ certificates unless serious measures were taken, including compliance with the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping for seafarers.


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The Southeast Asian country, among the world’s biggest suppliers of maritime labor, has since made serious efforts to comply with the requirements, particularly in key areas like the monitoring, supervision, and evaluation of training and assessment, the EC announced on Friday.

Marcos had met with EC President Ursula von der Leyen in December, when he attended the ASEAN-EU summit in Brussels, to discuss the 15-year-old issue involving Filipino seafarers.

In a statement, he said his administration will do everything to address all other issues faced by the local maritime industry so that the Philippines can produce more world-class seafarers.

The EC said it intends to provide the Philippines with technical assistance to further improve its education, training, and certification system for seafarers.

The seafarers are among millions of overseas Filipinos sending home more than $2.5 billion of their earnings each month, boosting consumer spending that drives growth of the domestic economy.

Meanwhile, The Philippines, is seeing global demand for Filipino seafarers increasing after the European Commission decided to continue recognizing certificates issued by the Southeast Asian country for the workers, ABS-CBN News reported on Sunday.

“It’s a vote of confidence in the Philippines and in the quality of training, education, and certification of our seafarers,” the media outlet quoted Migrant Workers Secretary Susan Ople as saying.

With Bloomberg

Read more: Marcos insists Philippines ‘will not lose one inch’ of territory

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