MARINA ensures Pinoy seafarers truly qualified

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Latest News Philippines: MARINA ensures Pinoy seafarers truly qualified –

THE Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) has upgraded and modernized its current issuance process by establishing a secure 24/7 online verification system.

This was done in coordination with the National Printing Office as  response to the 2010 Amendments to the STCW Convention calling for “improved measures to prevent fraudulent practices associated with certificates of competency” and to “provide information to allow others to check the validity and authenticity of seafarers’ certificates of competency.”

*The new system was adopted and introduced in accordance with the strict requirement of the provisions of the Procurement Law.

The reforms in the process of documentation and printing of the SIRB and CoP/CoC has curbed the illegal issuance of these documents and has led to the arrest and filing of cases against 30 individuals.

More important, the verification solution which complies with International Maritime Organization (IMO) regulation provides the needed credibility to the documents issued by MARINA by facilitating a real-time on line verification that enables various stakeholders (employers, shipowners and port authorities) to instantaneously authenticate the Seafarer’s Identification and Record Book (SIRB) and Certificate of Proficiency (CoP)/Certificate of Competency (CoC) held by Filipino seafarers.

All MARINA issued documents are linked and associated with a tamper-evident 3D identity token seal printed with a Quick Response (QR) code and a unique alphanumeric reference number and passkey.

This unique document security feature acts as each document’s fingerprint and enables stakeholders to compare the entire image and content of the physical certificate with the digitally stored image via any internet enabled device.

Any signs of tampering and data alteration can thus be detected with ease and convenience.

The creation of an image and data verification mechanism also addresses persistent reports by other Flag state administrations that some Filipino seafarers in the international seaborne trade are holding fraudulent certificates.

The databank of images ensures the integrity, authenticity and truthfulness of the issuances of MARINA.

This is important as unqualified seafarers holding fraudulent certificates of competency are a clear danger to themselves, others on board and the marine environment.

Previous seafarer documents did not contain this kind of feature which assailed its integrity and unnecessarily exposed Filipino seafarers to stricter and unreasonable Port State Control and treatment.

MARINA, under the helm of Administrator Max Mejia, has done the nation a great service as it has restored the trust of the international maritime and shipping community in the country’s seafarers thus guaranteeing their uninterrupted and continuous employment.        Marlon Purificacion


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