On 27 September 2019, Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) Administrator, Vice Admiral Narciso Vingson briefed Philippine Ambassador to Norway, Jocelyn Batoon-Garcia, on the progress of the Philippine’s compliance with the observations made during the past International Maritime Organization Member State Audit Scheme (IMSAS) audits. He said that the Philippines will be ready by the 2020 IMSAS audit, which will ensure that Filipino seafarers will be allowed to continue serving on board foreign vessels. More than 400,000 Filipino seafarers are working on board vessels of various countries, including Norwegian owned and operated vessels. Filipino seafarers are known for their skills and excellent work ethic. For Filipino seafarers to remain competitive, it is important that they receive adequate training at all skills levels required by the industry.
To ensure compliance with international standards, the Inter-Agency Council on the International Maritime Organization Member State Audit Scheme was established pursuant to President Rodrigo Duterte’s Executive Order No. 84, issued on 2 July 2019. The Council is composed of the Secretary of the Department of Tourism as Chairperson and the Administrator of MARINA as Vice Chairperson, and representatives of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Philippine Coast Guard, Philippine Ports Authority and Cebu Port as members. The Council is mandated to ensure that all its member agencies will implement and comply with all the laws and issuances pertaining to the implementation of the IMO instruments in an integrated manner. Bulletin Today reported that during the Maritime Forum 2019, Administrator Vingzon indicated that the Philippines is assured of continued accreditation having already submitted documents to show proof of compliance with the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) on the country maritime schools and training facilities standards and for implementing reforms. END