DOTr Sec. Jaime Bautista. (File photo from DOTr's Facebook page)

Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista has urged the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to analyze and manage the curriculum of maritime schools in the Philippines to enhance the country’s maritime industry.

Sec. Bautista’s call came during an interagency meeting convened to explore ways to strengthen the advances made in the country’s maritime industry following the European Commission’s (EC) recent decision to continue recognizing the training certifications of Filipino marine officers.

Representatives from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Migrant Workers (DMW), Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), and CHED shared their inputs on how to address the shortcomings and problems identified by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) regarding the Philippines’ adherence to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) for seafarers.

By improving the curriculum of maritime schools, Bautista hopes to address one of the six remaining areas for improvement identified by the EC, which is the program and course design and approval.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) chief also asked CHED to work closely with MARINA in recommending technical assistance areas where the EC may want to provide support.

With the Philippines being one of the world’s largest providers of seafarers, Bautista emphasized the importance of maintaining the country’s position as a top supplier of highly skilled and competent seafarers.

By enhancing the curriculum of maritime schools, the government aims to ensure that Filipino seafarers continue to meet international standards and remain competitive in the global maritime industry.