Phillippine Coast Guard calls for stricter local seafarer standards

AFTER a series of sea mishaps, Philippine Coast Guard commandant Wilfredo Tamayo called for a joint review of competency standards and training policies for local seafarers

Tamayo said that he will “strongly recommend” to various agencies for the review of the core competencies of the seafarers and push for rigid sanctions for erring crewmembers.

The agencies that the Coast Guard is most likely to work with include the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) and Maritime Industry Authority (Marina).

PRC issues the competency certificates for all ship officers, Tesda issues the Rating Certificate for nonofficers, and Marina issues the Qualification Document Certificate for both officers and crew.

Tamayo said human element plays a vital role in ensuring the safety of vessels and its passengers as 80 percent of the sea mishaps worldwide are caused by human error.

Tamayo’s call stems from a recent report submitted by Commander Allan de la Vega of the agency’s Maritime Safety Office that the Coast Guard Command Center has recorded seven cases of grounding incidents involving passenger and cargo vessels. These were M/V Pacific Cruiser, M/Y Nomad Korea, M/V Ivatan, M/V Tong Shun, M/V Sta. Filomena, M/V Super Shuttle Ferry and M/V Filipina Ozamis.

M/V Sycamore Global, on the other hand, rammed the pier of the Toledo Power Corp. in Cebu.

“The incidents happened during the months of May and June alone. Initial reports pointed to the human factor as the possible cause of the incidents,” the report said.

“It should be noted that most of the said incidents happened in clear visibility, fair weather condition and in an area where appropriate aids to navigation are in place. Further, most of the vessels involved have been on their regular routes where the ships’ masters [or ship captains] have supposed familiarity of the area,” the Coast Guard added.

Coast Guard also showed that there were 41 vessels that have encountered engine breakdowns or derangements at sea since March.

Source: http://businessmirror.com.ph/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=26867:strict-local-seafarer-standards-urged&catid=26:nation&Itemid=63

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