(Bloomberg) -- The Philippines, one of the world’s top suppliers of maritime labor, sees global demand for Filipino seafarers increasing after the European Commission decided to continue recognizing certificates issued by the Southeast Asian country for the workers, ABS-CBN News reported Sunday.

“It’s a vote of confidence in the Philippines and in the quality of training, education and certification of our seafarers,” the media outlet quoted Migrant Workers Secretary Susan Ople as saying. 

The European Commission warned in December 2021 that it would withdraw recognition of Philippines-issued certificates unless serious measures were taken to address its training and procedures. The Commission said Friday it will continue accepting Philippines-issued paperwork following the nation’s efforts to comply with requirements, including in areas such as monitoring, supervision and evaluation of training and assessment.

There are about 50,000 Filipino seafarers working on European Union-flagged ships. 

The Commission said it will provide the Philippines with technical assistance to further improve its education, training and certification system for seafarers as was discussed between President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Commission President Ursula von der Leyen during the EU-ASEAN summit in December.

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