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Monday, July 05, 2010

DOLE inks pact with Iran for Filipino seafarers' recognition, employment






Labor and Employment Secretary Marianito D. Roque has signed a bilateral agreement with Iran that provides for the Iranian recognition of the Filipino seafarers’ certificates of competencies, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) today said.


Roque  as chair of the Maritime Training Council (MTC) signed the Memorandum of Agreement  with  Deputy Managing Director for Maritime Affairs Saeed Izadian of the Iranian Ports and Maritime Organization in Manila recently following the conclusion of the five-day 2010 Diplomatic Conference of Parties to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping  (STCW), as amended, and its associated STCW Code for Seafarers held in the country last week.


Roque expressed his appreciation of the Iranian government for its willingness to enter into an agreement with the Philippines as this expands the international recognition of the Filipino seafarers’ certificate of competencies pursuant to Regulation 1/10 of the STCW Convention.


He said such recognition is essential to the continued employment of Filipino seafarers in the international maritime industry, adding that the MOA with Iran is the 45th bilateral agreement that the country has so far entered into to ensure the international recognition of the Filipino seafarers’ certificates.


The DOLE has actively negotiated for bilateral agreements on the recognition of Filipino seafarers’ certificates in accordance with the STCW convention.  It has previously facilitated bilateral agreements with 44 countries, namely, Egypt, St. Kitts & Nevis, Portugal, Qatar, South Africa, Eritrea, Republic of Korea, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Jamaica, Switzerland, Poland, Ukraine, Belgium, Mongolia, Georgia, Ireland, Commonwealth of Dominica, Hellenic Republic, Kuwait, Cambodia, Indonesia, Panama, Malaysia, Luxemburg, Australia, Belize, Liberia, Italy, Barbados, Sweden, Isle of Man, Malta, Antigua and Barbuda, Norway, Hong Kong, Marshall Islands, Vanuatu, Cyprus, Bahamas, Singapore, Brunei, Denmark, Netherlands, and Japan.


“These agreements demonstrate the confidence of the international maritime industry in the maritime education, training, assessment, and certification system of the Philippines,” Roque said.


He assured the international maritime industry that even as he is leaving his post as Labor and Employment Secretary, the DOLE will continuously work with other stakeholders in the Philippine government and the private sector to ensure the country’s continuous compliance to the STCW Convention and to maintain the globally known competence and skills of the Filipino seafarers.


The DOLE through the MTC, intensely pursues efforts aimed at ensuring the country’s observance of the STCW Convention, as amended.  Under the supervision of DOLE, the MTC ensures that the evaluation of the quality standards of government instrumentalities involved in the seamen certification system, training courses and programs, and examination and assessment including the qualification of instructors and assessors are conducted in accordance with the Convention. 


With the MTC’s painstaking efforts, the Philippines has sustained its compliance with the STCW Convention and subsequently the country’s inclusion in the International Maritime Organization’s White List since 2000.  This ensures the recognition of the international maritime industry to the certificates of competencies issued by the Philippine government to its seafarers, which is essential in the latter’s continued employment in international shipping. 




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