Home » Maritime » Maritime Equity Corp. feasible by yearend

THE Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) is positive it will be able to put up the Maritime Equity Corporation (MEC) by year-end before the Japanese government pulls out its P6-billion grant as initial funding for the loan facility.

The amount, which was given by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to finance the Philippines’ fleet modernization program, remains untapped with the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP).

MARINA administrator Vicente T. Suazo, Jr. said the creation of the corporation is already well on its way. “In fact, we are scheduled to sit with the DBP in the next few weeks to discuss the plans regarding the MEC,” he noted.

Once established, the MEC would provide financing support to roll-on/roll-off (ro-ro) operations and shipowners as key component of the government’s Sustainable Logistics Development Program.

The financing scheme would also be made available to other shipping stakeholders such as the shipbuilding and ship repair sector.

The Philippine government acquired the grant in the 1990s to spur new investments and assist the country’s fleet modernization program. However, due to the stringent collateral requirements set by the bank, no shipping companies have yet to avail of the loan.

JICA is set to pull out the amount by year-end unless the MEC is created.

A high-ranking official from the Philippine Interisland Shipowners Association said the country will be at a great disadvantage if it loses the funds. He noted the MEC will not only serve as a financial and funding facility, but also act as “supervisor” to the credit line. “The facility will see to it that all loan applicants will be able to deliver their investments successfully,” he said.

The source stressed the creation of the MEC is part of the domestic shipping industry’s aim to pursue a broad maritime agenda to address issues that hold back the industry from attaining its full potential.

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