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REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AND COMMUNICATIONS

MARITIME INDUSTRY AUTHORITY


TANGGAPAN NG TAGAPANGASIWA
OFFICE OF THE ADMINISTRATOR

12  February  2014  
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CIRCULAR  LETTER  
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Updates  on  the  Draft  EMSA  Audit  Report  
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!MARINA   received   last   week   the   Draft   report   on   the   inspection   of   the   maritime   education,  
training  and  certi4ication  system  in  the  Philippines  prepared  by  the  EMSA  Audit  Team  that  
conducted  the  inspection  last  October  2013.  
Background  
As   mentioned   at   the   conclusion   of   their   three-­‐week   audit   in   October,   the   EMSA   audit   team  
has  provided  the  Philippine  government  (through  MARINA)  with  a  draft  of  the  audit  report  
to  allow  us  to  provide  factual  corrections  before  the  team  Minalizes  their  report  and  ofMicial-­‐
ly  submits  the  same  to  the  European  Commission  (EC).    
It   will   be   recalled   that   the   three-­‐week   EMSA   audit   (8-­‐24   October   2013)   included   an   in-­‐
spection   of   the   agencies   involved   in   our   country’s   STCW   implementation   system   —   MARI-­‐
NA,  CHED,  PRC,  NTC,  and  DOH  (TESDA  was  exempt  from  the  audit)  —  as  well  as  18  mar-­‐
itime  education  and  training  institutions  around  the  country.  
Draft  EMSA  audit  report:  salient  points  
The  draft  EMSA  audit  report  contains  observations  that  were  generally  noted  and  expected  
by  the  Philippine  side  at  the  closing  meeting  with  the  EMSA  auditors  in  October  2013.    
The  draft  EMSA  audit  report  explicitly  noted  that  the  “change  in  the  structure  of  the  mar-­‐
itime   administration   was   an   ongoing   process”   and   identiMied   the   following   three   major   ar-­‐
eas  of  concern:  
Quality   standards   system:—   The   draft   report   notes   that   while   it   observed   that   MARINA  
managed  an  NQSS  and  the  different  agencies  each  implemented  a  QSS  that  was  required  to  
be  aligned  with  the  NQSS,  numerous  areas  still  need  to  be  addressed  before  full  implemen-­‐
tation  is  accomplished.  MARINA  and  its  partner  agencies  made  this  observation  to  EMSA  
at   the   outset   of   the   audit,   noting   that   with   only   5   months   between   the   two   audits   (from  
April   and   October),   while   we   are   able   to   exhibit   a   functioning   NQSS,   it   is   still   nascent.  
Moreover,   even   as   the   audit   team   was   in   the   Philippines,   MARINA   and   its   partner   agencies  
continued  with  their  planned  STCW  implementation  measures.  
Programme   and   course   approval:—   Under   this   heading,   the   audit   team   makes   speciMic  
mention   in   the   draft   report   that   the   “implementation   of   the   management   level   courses  
could   not   be   ensured.”   MARINA   presented   two   provisional   curricula   (one   each   for   deck  
and   engine)   while   explaining   that   Minal   versions   were   still   being   developed.   These   Minal  
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Parkview Plaza, 984 Taft Avenue corner T. M. Kalaw, 1000 Ermita, Manila, Philippines
Phone +63-2-523-8660 / 526-0971; Fax +63-2-524-2895; Website www.marina.gov.ph
versions  are  now  ready  to  be  presented  for  adoption  at  the  next  MARINA  Board  meeting  
(13  February).  Copies  of  the  Minal  versions  and  accompanying  MARINA  memorandum  cir-­‐
cular  will  be  furnished  EMSA.  
Monitoring  and  evaluation  of  training  and  assessment:—  The  audit  team  observed  that  in  
their   conduct   of   monitoring   and   evaluation   of   maritime   education   and   training   institu-­‐
tions,  MARINA  and  CHED  “could  not  demonstrate  that  the  monitoring  activities  has  been  
fully  implemented  and  conducted  in  a  uniform  way”  and    “auditors  in  different  teams  rated  
the  same  non-­‐conformity  differently.”  This  was  a  situation  that  both  agencies  had  already  
observed  in  advance  of  the  October  audit.  We  reported  this  to  the  EMSA  team  during  the  
audit  and  mentioned  to  them  that  “calibration  workshops”  were  already  scheduled  to  help  
address  the  issue.  In  fact,  two  calibration  workshops  have  been  conducted  since  the  Octo-­‐
ber  audit.  
Maritime   education   and   training   institutions:—   Aside   from   the   above   three   areas,   the   draft  
report   also   includes   observations   made   by   the   audit   team   from   their   visits   to   18   maritime  
education   and   training   institutions   around   the   country.   The   deMiciencies   noted   ranged  
from  the  implementation  of  the  quality  system  and  monitoring  of  syllabi  delivery  to  high  
student-­‐to-­‐facility  ratios  and  less-­‐than-­‐challenging  examination  questions.    
Interpreting  the  draft  report  
There   are   rumors   circulating   in   Europe   and   the   Philippines   that   the   draft   report   already  
passes  judgement  on  the  Philippines’  STCW  compliance.  The  rumors  prejudge  one  of  the  
possible   decisions   of   the   European   Commission   (EC)   —   that   the   EC   would   withdraw  
recognition   of   Philippine-­‐issued   ofMicer’s   certiMicates.   However,   the   draft   report   makes  
no   such   recommendations   —   neither   to   continue   nor   withdraw   recognition   of  
Philippine  certiGicates.    
EMSA  emphasizes  the  need  to  underscore  the  true  nature  and  signiMicance  of  the  draft  re-­‐
port  —  that  it  is  a  technical  audit  report,  which  presents  facts  gathered  by  the  audit  team  
and   their   observations   of   the   status   of   the   Philippine   STCW   implementation   system   based  
on   the   team’s   inspection   in   October   2013.   The   Minal   report   will   be   submitted   by   EMSA   as   a  
reference   document   for   the   European   Commission,   which   will   ultimately   make   the   deci-­‐
sion.  As  in  any  audit  exercise,  the  Philippines  will  be  furnishing  the  auditing  body  with  an  
account  of  its  corrective  actions,  to  ensure  that  it  is  afforded  a  complete  picture  of  the  cur-­‐
rent  situation.  
Was  there  progress  between  the  April’13  and  October’13  inspections?:—  The  answer  by  MA-­‐
RINA  and  its  partner  agencies  to  this  question  is  yes.  This  answer  is  based  on  our  observa-­‐
tion  that  the  three  areas  of  concern  identiMied  in  the  April  ’13  report  are  no  longer  under-­‐
scored  in  the  draft  report.  The  discourse  in  the  current  draft  report  has  now  moved  from  
the  absence  of  a  functioning  NQSS,  to  the  dynamics  of  the  implementation,  as  well  as  nec-­‐
essary  improvements  and  reMinements  to  the  now-­‐operational  NQSS  and  its  allied  QSSs.  
Did  we  pass  or  did  we  fail?:—  The  answer  is  that  the  draft  report  mentions  neither  “pass”  
nor   “fail.”   The   document   is   a   draft   audit   report   that   contains   only   Mindings   and   observa-­‐
tions.  It  contains  no  recommendations  or  decisions.  
Risk   to   Filipino   seafarers:—   The   EMSA   audit   team   emphasized   in   their   October   visit   that  
the   inspection’s   focus   is   on   the   continued   recognition   of   Philippine   ofMicer’s   certiMicates.  
This  reduces  the  risk  of  loss  of  employment  from  80,000  (the  total  population  of  Filipino  
seafarers  on  board  EU-­‐Mlagged  vessels)  to  around  4,000  (roughly  5%  of  the  total).  
Way  forward  

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Parkview Plaza,984 Taft Avenue corner T. M. Kalaw, 1000 Ermita, Manila, Philippines
Phone +63-2-523-8660 / 526-0971; Fax +63-2-524-2895; Website www.marina.gov.ph
The   EMSA   audit   team   will   Minalize   their   report   in   March   for   submission   to   the   European  
Commission  (EC),  which  will  most  likely  refer  it  to  the  EC’s  Committee  on  Safe  Seas  (CoSS)  
for  deliberation  and  decision  in  the  coming  months.  
MARINA,  together  with  CHED,  PRC,  NTC,  TESDA,  and  DOH  will  continue  with  their  intensi-­‐
Mied  STCW  implementation  efforts.  The  agencies,  through  MARINA,  will  continue  to  update  
EMSA  and  the  EC  of  further  STCW  implementation  measures  being  undertaken,  particular-­‐
ly   in   terms   of   certiMication   activities,   the   monitoring   of   maritime   education   and   training  
programs  and  institutions,  and  the  new  law  designating  MARINA  as  the  single  STCW  Ad-­‐
ministration.  
It   is   relevant   to   mention   that   on   10   February   2014   the   legislative   measure   designating  
MARINA   as   the   single   STCW   Administration,   with   principal   sponsorship   by   Rep.   Jesulito  
Manalo   (ANGKLA   PartyList)   and   Senate   President   Franklin   Drilon,   was   approved   on   3rd  
Reading  in  both  chambers  of  Congress.  The  structural  changes  proposed  in  the  new  legis-­‐
lation  will  signiMicantly  minimize  the  loss  time  and  efMiciency  in  the  implementation  of  the  
STCW   Convention,   brought   about   by   the   need   to   coordinate   and   align   policies   among   at  
least  6  separate  agencies.  Additionally,  the  new  law  will  establish  Mirm  control  over  all  pro-­‐
cesses   relating   to   STCW   implementation   and   eliminate   layers   of   bureaucracy   —   thereby  
eliminating   layers   of   delay,   and   reducing   the   time   that   our   seafarers   spend   traveling   be-­‐
tween  different  agencies  and  standing  in  queues.  
MARINA   and   its   partner   agencies   reiterate   their   dedication   to   maintaining   compliance  
with  its  obligations  under  the  STCW  Convention.  They  are  determined  to  keep  the  STCW  
implementation   system   on   a   track   that   is   rational,   systematic,   and   permanent.   They   are  
committed  to  following  a  plan  of  action  that  is  deliberate,  practicable,  and  workable,  and  
that  will  perpetuate  the  cycle  of  continuous  improvement  in  which  the  system  is  now  Mirm-­‐
ly  engaged.  
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Contact:    Atty.  Jabeth  A.  Dacanay  
Chief  of  Staff,  OfMice  of  the  Administrator  
MARITIME  INDUSTRY  AUTHORITY  (MARINA)  
Tel.  No.  523.9078  
Email:    oadm@marina.gov.ph  

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Parkview Plaza,984 Taft Avenue corner T. M. Kalaw, 1000 Ermita, Manila, Philippines
Phone +63-2-523-8660 / 526-0971; Fax +63-2-524-2895; Website www.marina.gov.ph

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