Filipino seafarers (PNA file photo)

MANILA – Department of Migrant Workers Secretary Susan Ople clarified on Thursday that the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) remains part of the task force directed by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to address concerns raised by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) on Filipino seafarers.

Ople made the clarification after claims that the President has reportedly excluded MARINA from the task overseeing maritime training and accreditation as the country continued to fail the EMSA’s evaluation in the past 16 years.

“The directive of the President was for various agencies led by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to come up with a joint implementation plan to address the concerns raised by the European Maritime Safety Agency, or EMSA,” Ople said.

“The Department of Migrant Workers, as well as the Maritime Industry Authority, as an attached agency of the DOTr, were included in that directive. The President never ordered MARINA to be removed as an implementing agency.”

In a recent hearing at the House of Representatives, officials told the House committee on overseas workers that the deadline for the country to address the issues raised by EMSA was set for this month.

Should the government again fail to comply with the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, at least 50,000 Filipino seafarers working in European vessels would lose their jobs. (PNA)