09 June 2015, Tuesday, 1200 Hours, Ballroom, Diamond Hotel Philippines, Roxas Boulevard, Manila - The Filipino Association for Mariners’ Employment, Inc. (FAME) held its 1st General Membership Meeting for the year 2015.
Atty. Jabeth Sena Jepath A. Dacanay, the Deputy Executive Director for STCW and the Chief of Staff for the Office of the Administrator of the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) was once again invited to speak and she gave updates on the implementation of STCW 2010 Manila Amendments. In a brief but detailed report, the speaker stressed on the importance of the said Convention in realizing the country’s goal of providing majority of maritime professionals to man the world’s fleet.
“Pursuant to the said STCW requirements, MARINA being the Philippines’ single maritime Administration, made a comparative analysisof the standards of competence under the STCW ’78 Convention, as amended in 1995, which were required for certification of existing Filipino Management and Operational level officers, vis-à-vis the standards of competence required for certification of such officers under the 2010 STCW Manila Amendments.
The comparison of the standards of competence between the two STCW amendments resulted to the identification of some new knowledge requirements, which constitute as gaps for the certification of existing Filipino Management and Operational level officers under the STCW’78 Convention, as amended in 2010”, Dacanay stated.
In order to address the identified gaps, MARINA developed and approved Updating Trainings/Courses required under Regulation I/11 of the STCW Convention of which several circulars pertaining to issuance of various certificates were issued.  To further enhance the STCW implementation, MARINA continues to explore and implement schemes and optimize efficiencies which includes One-Day Certification Process of COCs/COEs, Decentralization of examination, assessment, licensure and certification functions to MARINA Regional Offices, Distance / E-learning and Online Application System.
MARINA also entered into an agreement with the IMO for a Coordinated Task Force on Technical Assistance to the Philippines. The agreement aims to facilitate the effective implementation of the STCW Convention in the country by providing training to Evaluators, Inspectors and Auditors of MARINA and CHED on key areas covering maritime education, training, assessment and certification.  The Task Force is composed of Denmark, Germany, Netherlands and Norway.
On other industry matters, Mr. Ericson M. Marquez, Vice-President for External Affairs of FAME, reported on the Panama Maritime Authority (PMA) Circular DGGM-006-2015-UCYC regarding New Regulations for Maritime Training Centers where it specifies the new requirements for the issuance of an equivalent Panama Certificate of Competency (COP) to Filipino seafarers.
Mr. Jose Albar G. Kato, Director and Chairman of the FAME Legal Committee, also discussed topics on the present legal and legislative agenda of JMG wherein FAME is an active mover. These are the JMG’s Proposed Guidelines for 3rd Party Medical Arbitration and JMG Proposed House Bill Strengthening Sec. 32 of POEA Standard Employment Contract (SEC) which aims to address the dilemma of the industry on ambulance chasing. He also mentioned that FAME and JMG are actively participating on the review of HB No. 5430 (Re: Escrow) – “An Act Amending Article 223 of P.D. No. 442, as amended, otherwise known as The Labor Code of the Philippines and for other purposes” by Cong. Jesulito Manalo with the same objective.
He also gave an update on the TESDA Implementing Guidelines in the Deployment of Newly Developed Training Regulations, and on the Conduct of Competency Assessment and Certification for Ships’ Catering NC III (Ships’ Cooks), Draft Model Bilateral Agreement for MLC, 2006 implementation and the Review of POEA Rules & Regulations for Seabased Sector which was recently initiated by POEA for the industry to review and submit comments and proposed amendments.