Did you know that the Philippines never had an Approved Shipboard Training Program for Reg II/4 and Reg III/4? If we ever had at all, I bet these were NOT rolled out properly!
With STCW 95, the support level under Reg II/4 and III/4 must:
- not less than 16 years of age;
- have completed approved seagoing service including not less than six months of training and experience; or special training, either pre-sea or on board ship. Including an approved period of seagoing service which shall not be less than two months.
In the seafarer language, Reg II/4 means the OS and III/4 is the Wiper. The OS and Wiper are now more popularly called Ratings Forming Part of Navigational Watch and Ratings Forming Part of Engineering Watch, respectively. Both positions require COP.
If the Philippines have NO approved education and training program for Ratings – how do we produce ratings then? Surprise number one – our source of ratings are from the graduates of BSMT and BSMarE!
If the Philippines have NO approved education and training program for Ratings, it simply follows the Philippines does NOT have an approved shipboard training program for Ratings!
Surprise number two – our source of ratings with shipboard experience are the cadets from the graduates of BSMT and BSMarE!
Surprise number three – most of our cadets end up as ratings because nobody else will qualify under Reg II/4 and III/4 simply because there are NO programs for ratings! Now, how do we go by? Here comes the use, overuse and abuse of sea service vis-à-vis shipboard training!
The industry is using the sea service as cadets to qualify them as ratings. We all know the cadetship program is 1 year of the 4-year course BSMT or BSMarE. Therefore, after completing 4 years of education and training, the cadet will be required to attend a training program called Ratings Forming Part of Navigational Watch or Engineering Watch as the case maybe (RFPNW/RFPEW).
What beats me here is actually to realize, that after completion of a 4-year course, believed to qualify a candidate as OICNW or OICEW, the candidate is NOT qualified to be certificated as a rating so the requirement for RFPNW or RFPEW. What is even surprising is RFPNW or RFPEW is about 2 weeks! A 2-week program vs a 4-year baccaleaureate program?
Surprise number 4 – the MET requirements for OICNW or OICEW (Operational Level Officers) are the precursor to qualify for RFPNW or RFPEW (Support Level Ratings)!
Now, here is the real issue – the candidates must secure their respective COPs and/or COCs in order to get a job onboard and become productive! The cadets who hoped to become officers are the only qualified candidates to become ratings! The others have to be street smart to produce their approved sea service experience or shipboard experience!
This is where the overuse and abuse of the sea services come in! The candidates are actually paying for their OJT (On the Job Training) for a couple of months. Being issued of the Certificates of Sea Service for 12 months! This is openly happening in the Philippine Domestic shipping and waters!
The real surprise? – COPs are issued!
“The illiterate of the 21st century will NOT be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.”
— Alvin Toffler, futurist.