The Philippines’ inclusion in a global whitelist of countries with high global certification standard compliance would make it easier for Filipino seamen to get hired, according to Department of Migrant Workers (DMW).

The Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) welcomed on Tuesday the inclusion of the Philippines in the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Whitelist, saying it highlights Filipino seafarers’ excellence.

In a statement, the agency said the recognition proves the Philippine government’s commitment to upholding the “highest seafarer qualifications, competencies, and skills standards.”

“Inclusion on the IMO Whitelist is a testament to our ongoing efforts in refining and elevating the skills of our maritime workforce,” said Migrant Workers Secretary Hans Leo J. Cacdac. “It is a global validation of our Filipino seafarers’ exceptional abilities.”

According to DMW, the IMO Whitelist signifies Filipino seafarers’ adherence to the Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping (STCW) convention – an international agreement promoting safety at sea and environmental protection through standardized training for merchant marines worldwide.

The agency claims that this move paves the way for secure employment and continued employability for Filipino seafarers.

“The DMW is firmly committed to supporting the welfare and well-being of our brave Filipino seafarers. We will work with all partner agencies and stakeholders to ensure their competence, safety, and protection,” Cacdac added.

Filipino seafarers constitute an estimated 30% of the global maritime workforce. In 2023, the Philippines deployed 570,959 seafarers, reflecting a 16% increase, particularly in passenger vessels, from the previous year,

In accordance with the figures of the Philippine’s Maritime Industry Authority (Marina), despite the numerous setbacks caused by several world events that posed challenges to shipping, Filipino seafarers continue to be much in demand. These seafarers remit a total average of USD 6.5bln annually in the last three years, with the latest total earnings recorded at USD 6.7bln (preliminary figure).