German ambassador ‘encouraged’ by PH efforts to comply with EU maritime standard
The Manila Times
Maritime And Logistics
THE Philippine government’s assurance to the European Union community and various shipping stakeholders that the country is addressing and will comply with international standards set by the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) Convention is a positive development for the continued employability of Filipino seafarers onboard Germanowned and -managed vessels. German Ambassador Anke Reiffenstuel cited the recent visit of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to Brussels where he met with shipping stakeholders and made the assurance to stave off any negative impact of adverse findings to the employability of some 50,000 Filipino officers on board EU-flagged vessels. During the meeting, Marcos assured that the Philippines will address the noncompliance issues identified by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) audit. Ambassador Reiffenstuel said, “What we see now are encouraging signals and moves by President Marcos Jr. and the new administration. We are hopeful that challenges can be overcome together and that we can overcome them in closer cooperation.” She made the statement during the recent 75th anniversary of the German company Dohle Shipmanagement Philippines Inc. Joining other international communities, mostly those in Europe and Scandinavia, the German official thinks that the Philippine government is taking the EMSA issue seriously. This will reel in a favorable and assuring signal to other countries that employ Filipino seafarers to man their vessels. Reiffenstuel also pointed out the decades of close partnership that Germany has with the country and how important the supply of Filipino seafarers and officers is not just to the German fleet but to the global shipping community as well that carries cargo and trade all over the globe. “The deployment of seafarers to the global maritime industry not only has a long tradition in the Philippines but also constitutes or contributes a large part to the country’s GDP,” she said. The ambassador also praised the Döhle Group for having “substantially contributed to making the Philippines an essential part and parcel of global connectivity and a tight dynamic economy.” The deployment of seafarers and health care workers, she said, is an integral and important part of the work as well of the embassy. She also cited the importance of increasing partnerships and activities with Filipino seafarers and health care workers in the face of a “skilled labor gap” in Germany.