Transforming Philippine maritime education | The Manila Times

If there is anything which a good majority of the maritime stakeholders would agree on, it would be that maritime education is primarily focused on developing competent seafarers according to international and national standards. Undoubtedly, the seafaring industry offers substantial benefits not only to seafarers and their families but also to this archipelago struggling to provide the basic needs of its citizens. The seafarers foreign exchange remittances translate into improved balance-of-payment and contribute to socio-economic gains for the government and the population. These benefits unfortunately tend to limit the concept of Philippine maritime education to just seafarers education.

There is every reason why stakeholders, both in government and industry, aim to nurture a pool of Filipino merchant mariners who are on top of the list of choices by shipowners in the global maritime community. Such endeavor has for decades been in this archipelagos blueprint for a sustainable maritime industry, although pursued in various shapes and colors the variance of which depends on the leadership, from the executive to the legislative branches of government.

It is not my intention to take up the issue of the International Convention on the Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) as there are too many who are already into that pitch; the debates have become too crowded with the many experts trying to unravel the STCW enigma. Rather, taking a detour ....

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