OPEN LETTER TO OUR BELOVED AND NEWLY ELECTED PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES DATED MAY 20, 2016.
Good evening His Excellency Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte;
In line with your proposal on maritime development in our country, likewise, giving significance to more or less 5.8 billion foreign exchange remitted by Filipino seafarers annually, I would like to ask your favor for immediate action/s on the following:
1. Appoint the right person at DOTC if MARINA shall continue to be under the umbrella of that government agency, or;
2. Create the Department of Maritime Affair (DMA) to be run and manned by real seafarers' and to be housed at the empty space of Metropolitan Theater at Plaza Lawton, if land-based OFW's training, documentation and certification shall be housed at Post Office Building.
3. All MARINA STCW Advisories and MARINA Circulars and all irrelevant provisions created by MARINA pertaining to seafarers education, training and certification, not in accordance with STCW Convention has to be strike down immediately;
4. Professional and civil service illegibility of Filipino seafarers has to be recognized by returning the function of the Professional Regulations Commission (PRC) from MARINA in giving Board Examination to seafarers and in accordance with R.A. 1080 rather than MARINA under R.A. 10635 which we are presently contesting at the Supreme Court;
5. Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of R.A. 10635 has to be reviewed as soon as possible and all errors to be corrected;
6. Adapt Filipino seafarers education and training under International Maritime Organization (IMO) Model courses 7.04; 7.03; 7.02 and 7.01 instead of Bachelor's degree in Maritime Transportation and Marine Engineering which is highly questioned by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA);
7. Abolish the following irrelevant training courses and requirement for seafarers certification, they are not required by the STCW Convention :
a. Officer-in-charge Level Course (OLC) Part A
b. Officer-in-charge Level Course (OLC) Part B
c. New Management Level Course
d. Management Level Course (MLC)
e. Updating/refreshing MLC
f. Daily Journal, a redundancy of Training Record Book (TRB)
8. Strict regulations with corresponding severe penalties on wrong interpretation of International Convention such as ILO Convention and IMO / STCW Conventions ratified by the Republic of the Philippines has to be adapted at soonest possible time;
9. Interpretation on Article VII and Regulation I/15 (Transitional provisions) of STCW Convention that can be found on page 15 and 33 of STCW Convention, likewise, Regulation I/11 that can be found on page 30 of STCW Convention has to be given high priority now as December 31, 2016 is fast approaching and Filipino seafarer's certificates are highly affected by this wrong application of STCW provisions.
(Meaning if you re-validated your COC sometime 2013 it will expire on 2018; if re-validated in 2015 it will expire on 2020 and if re-validated in 2016 it will expire on 2021 NOT on December 31, 2016)
Very Truly yours,
Bienvenido S. Lorque
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