Philippines’ President to “Reload” Relations with EU

After cancellation of a Laguna Lake dredging contract by his administration, Philippines’ President Aquino needs to “reload” the government’s relations with the European Union and the Belgium government.

Aquino is welcome to speak before the EU Parliament and thank EU member-states for assisting in the evacuation of overseas Filipino workers during the military action in Libya.

Aquino’s visit is a chance to demonstrate the European Union that the Philippines is serious in the steps being taken on the investigation and findings of non-compliance with the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, source said.

The Philippines’ reply and report were presented in August to the European Maritime Safety Agency. But an unfavorable decision may result in stopping the hiring of Filipino seafarers by European shipping companies.

These companies will comply if there is an EU directive not to hire Filipino seafarers,” a source said. “The President should visit Belgium and the EU and become the first ever President to speak before the EU Parliament.”

The Belgian firm is seeking P4 billion in damages from the Philippines after suing it for scrapping the Laguna Lake Restoration Project.

Dredging Today Staff, November 29, 2011;