The Department Of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has been efforts that will lead to an early implementation of the amendments to the Standards of Training. Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) Convention and the STCW Code to sustain the Filipino seafarers competitiveness and employability in the global seafaring industry.

The amendments known as the Manila Amendments were adopted during the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Diplomatic Conference which the Philippines hosted from 21-25 June 2010.

In a press release, Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalina Dimapilis-Baldoz said that the Maritime Training Council (MTC), a DOLE attached agency is already conducting a thorough review of existing national maritime regulations and issuances to ensure compliance with the amendments.

“The evaluation is being done in coordination with DOLE partners both in the government and private the private sector”, Baldoz said.

“The MTC this year will likewise conduct extensive and comprehensive information dissemination to all sectors of the Philippines maritime industry on the implementations of the said amendments”, Baldoz said.

the MTC has vowed to implement the amendments prior to its entry into force on 01 January 2012 and its full enforcement in January 2017.

The Manila Amendments have been adopted to ensure that the necessary global standards will be in place to train and certify seafarers to operate any modern, technologically-advanced ships.

Among the Manila Amendments adopted are a number of important changes, including:

1.)    Improve measures to prevent fraudulent practices associated with certificates of competency and strengthened evaluation process of monitoring the parties compliance with the Convention;

2.)    Revised requirements on hours of work and rest and new requirements for the prevention of drug and alcohol abuse, as well as updated standards relating to medical fitness standards for seafarers;

3.)    New requirements for marine environment awareness training and training in leadership and teamwork;

4.)    New certification requirements for able seafarers;

5.)    New requirements relating to training in modern technology, such as electronic charts and information systems (ECDIS)

6.)    New training and certification requirements for electro-technical officers;

7.)    Updating of competence requirements for personnel serving on board all types of tankers, including new requirements for personnel serving on liquefied gas tankers;

8.)    New requirements for security training as well as provisions to ensure that seafarers are properly trained to cope if their ship comes under attacks by pirates;

9.)    Introduction of modern training methodology including distance learning and web-based learning;

10.)New training guidance for personnel serving on board ships operating in polar waters; and

11.)New training guidance for personnel operating Dynamic Positioning Systems.


The Philippines continues to be the top provider of sea-based workers to the world. The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) estimated that 25 percent of the country’s total annual workers deployments are sea-based workers.