ACTS OFW prioritizes free seafarer training

FREE training courses and lower pre-deployment documentation requirements for seafarers are among the top maritime industry priorities on the ACTS OFW party slate as it seeks to regain a seat in Congress in the US elections. may.

In an interview with the Manila Times, Aniceto “John” Bertiz 3e, president of ACTS OFW, said the party would strengthen policies and funding for free training courses for seafarers.

“One of our priorities for the maritime industry is to review the functions of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) so that remittances sent by our seafarers and saved by the agency are not depleted just for a financial support and other ayuda (help) Part of these funds should be allocated for free training courses for seafarers and their reintegration into society if they decide to retire,” Bertiz said.

Bertiz added that shipping is a complex industry and its concerns need to be addressed at the root – education and training.

“We should address the fundamental concerns of the industry first, as they have a wider impact on seafarers. Our maritime schools do not have their training ships to ensure that their cadets are not only prepared theoretically, but also competent in practice. Many of our national ships are dilapidated for safe voyages. And there are too many certifications required of a sailor before this deployment – we will eliminate redundant and unnecessary documents, “said he declared.

Bertiz also asked why the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) was not involved in the implementation of Training and Watch Certification Standards (STCW) in the country.

“An important part of STCW is about training, so why is Tesda excluded? It’s just the Higher Education Commission and the Maritime Industry Authority that implement the training requirements for people in sea; they couldn’t even see each other sometimes,” Bertiz said.

“We should expand the scope of free training and education to our OFWs, including sailors. We have done this in the past when we enacted Republic Act 10931 or “Universal Access to quality higher education in State universities and colleges and State-operated technical and vocational institutions.’ It is a law on free education that we have voted and we intend to do the same for seafarers by strengthening for them the training courses leading to a three-year diploma”, he added.

“We will also improve local navigation so that our seafarers, regardless of age, can have a place to work,” he said.

ACTS OFW is made up of former overseas Filipino workers or families of an OFW, giving party roster members first-hand information and a deep understanding of the plight of OFWs.

This has led to 28 House measures that have been enacted since the party won a congressional seat in 2016.

These include the 10-year validity of passports, free Wi-Fi internet access in public areas, the Handbook Act 2018 for OFWs, universal health care and national identity system.

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