There is no doubt, the Philippine Government, through the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), has gotten hold of these unwelcome reports, to say the least, on European employers replacing their Filipino seafarers with other nationalities.Most likely, MARINA is not totally oblivious of the plans of the Norwegian government to issue Certificates of Competency (COCs) and Certificate of Proficiency (COPs) to officers serving on Norwegian-owned and managed vessels.These moves were obviously in anticipation of the impending ban of Filipino officers on European vessels by the European Commission (EC).In spite of all these reports, MARINA is unfazed and remains confident it would be able to prevent the withdrawal of recognition of STCW certificates it issued to Filipino seafarers.
Probably, that confidence stemmed from the recent visit to Europe of MARINA officials led by Officer-in-Charge VAdm. Narciso Vingson Jr. where they met with
officials of the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA). He said: “So far okay naman tayo (we are okay), we have submitted our corrective action and are now in the implementation. So far okay lahat (everything’s okay), we don’t expect failure here.” “We went to EMSA last November nakita nila sa vision natin (they have seen in our vision). They have not started reading it actually kasi ang dami (because our submission is voluminous).” He said EMSA officials, in effect, have invited them to their office to elaborate on their latest submission. “But they said they will come here next year in March, so they said ‘if you can come here to further explain some of the contents of (your submission)’ to validate our compliance,” VAdm. Vingson told some members of the press at the recent press briefing.