Home » Maritime » Marina bats for shipping industry’s full deregulation

THE Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) is pushing for full deregulation of the country’s shipping industry in keeping with Republic Act 9295 or the Domestic Shipping Act of 2004.

Marina administrator Emerson Lorenzo said allowing market forces to operate will result in cheaper travel and shipping costs.

“Government, specifically Marina, should only have intervening powers which it can invoke when the public interest is compromised,” Lorenzo, who was appointed Marina chief last month, explained. “This way, Marina can concentrate on enforcing safety and service standards.”

He noted the Philippines is the only country in Asia still regulating vessels in the local trade and it is high time it joins its neighbors.

Since the passage of RA 9295 in 2004, not much has changed in the way government deals with the local shipping industry.

Under the RA, the shipping industry is supposedly deregulated, with government’s hands tied when it comes to rate increases. In practice though, Marina can allow or disallow shipping lines to post rate increases for public information. It is also allowed to intervene if it considers rate increases excessive or a deterrent to economic growth.

Earlier, local shipping operators led by the Philippine Interisland Shipping Association called on government to fully deregulate the local shipping industry — which is the current policy when it comes to foreign shipping lines — to give domestic shipping lines a free hand with their operations and to more quickly respond to market conditions.

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