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    Posted March 5, 2014 by

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    Philippine president to sign seafarer's bill

    SPEAKER Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. on Wednesday said the signed proposed Act benefitting Filipino seafarers, promoting competency and proficiency is now set for transmittal to the President.
    The proposed Act "Establishing the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) as the single maritime administration responsible for the implementation and enforcement of the 1978 International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, as amended, and International Agreements or Covenants Related Thereto", is a consolidation of House Bill No. 3766 and Senate Bill 2043.
    Belmonte expressed elation with the passage of this bill saying, "It is significant that it is the first major bill that we have passed in this session".
    He underscored the importance of the bill adding that, "As a country the Philippines provides the most number of seafarers in the whole world and their future is endangered because there are changes necessary in their training, accreditation and skills here."
    Rep. Jesulito Manalo, principal author of the bill, supported the Speaker's views saying, "This bill will institutionalize EO 75 executed by Pres. Aquino, that will now provide standards of training, competency and watchkeeping of all our seafarers, conforming with the STCW's requirement in the convention of 1978, thus elevating the level of our seafarer's with the rest of the world in the global maritime industry."
    Manalo explained that when a vessel enters, Europe for instance, without a certificate of proficiency or competency the crew on board is considered not authorized. "So (in effect) you are sailing a ship that is manned by people who are not qualified".
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