By Priam F. Nepomuceno
Maritime Training Council (MTC) Executive Director Liberty Casco has announced that training provisions that will accommodate the Manila 2010 Amendments to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) Convention are already in place.
Casco said in an interview that the new training provisions are presently undergoing review by the various government agencies tasked to monitor development in the seafaring industry.
“Provisions are already in place and undergoing review. The MTC, along with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), is developing new courses and training curriculum that will comply with the requirements being asked by the Manila 2010 Amendments to the STCW,” she emphasized.
Casco also said that they are being aided in this endeavor by various maritime industry stakeholders.
She added that the provisions will be placed in modules which will be readily available to the country’s maritime schools and training centers, once approved unanimously.
The Manila Amendments to the STCW Convention and Code were adopted on June 25, 2010.
The amendments adopted included the following:
• Improved measures to prevent fraudulent practices associated with certificates of competency and strengthen the evaluation process.
• Revised requirements on hours of work and rest and new requirements for the prevention of drug and alcohol abuse, as well as updated standards relating to medical fitness standards for seafarers.
• New certification requirements for able seafarers and training in modern technology such as electronic charts and information systems.
• New requirements for marine environment awareness training and leadership and teamwork.
• New training and certification requirements for electro-technical officers.
• Updating of competence requirements for personnel serving on board all types of tankers, including new requirements for personnel serving on liquefied gas tankers.
• New requirements for security training, as well as provisions to ensure that seafarers are properly trained to cope if their ship comes under attack by pirates.
• Introduction of modern training methodology, including distance learning and web-based learning.
• New training guidance for personnel serving on board ships operating in polar waters, and personnel operating dynamic positioning systems.
Also undergoing review is the procedure or method where Filipino seafarers are given their “consolidated certificate of proficiency” (COP).