For the records, the final audit begun on 24 February and will last until 15 March, 2020.
During this period, EMSA will conduct several inspections, such as visits to the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), three assessment centers and 9 maritime higher education institutions (MHEIs) at Manila, Zambales, Cebu, Tagbilaran, and Iloilo areas.
"The inspections are aimed at verification of the system in place and include visits to the maritime administrations and maritime education and training institutions. In a country such as the Philippines, the number of these institutions is around 100, consequently, a representative sample is chosen" said the EU to Manila Bulletin.
In the previous EMSA audits, was reported that the Filipino seafarers didn't comply with the STCW requirements.
In fact, in the last audit on March 2017, was found 42 areas of concern while the Philippines authorities were required to submit three separate reports showing how these had been addressed.
In light of the situation, the Philippine's Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) back in November 2019, submitted the required documents in order to show proof of compliance to EMSA on the country’s maritime schools and training facilities standards and for implementing reforms under Executive Order 63.
Moreover, in case that Philippines fail during the final audit, then more than 30.000 of the region's seafarers will be banned to service onboard European-flagged vessels.
Concluding, Philippines is considered to play a vital role in providing seafarers globally. The region was first inspected and re-assessed in 2006, when it was found to not be meeting the STCW requirements.