Home » Maritime » Strong private sector participation urged in Domestic Shipping Act implementation

THE Philippine Interisland Shipping Association (PISA) is pressing the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) to involve the private sector in the implementation of Republic Act No. 9295 or the Domestic Shipping Development Act (DSDA) of 2004

In a letter to MARINA deputy administrator for Planning Gloria Victoria J. Bañas, the association reiterated the maritime agency should include the private sector’s propositions in the final draft of the law’s implementing rules and regulations (IRR).

The maritime agency is on the eighth draft of the proposed IRR.

In its position paper, PISA said since the law’s intention is to promote development in domestic shipping, the IRR should not impose new or additional burden on shipowners and ship operators in terms of cost and bureaucratic requirements.

“Minimizing bureaucratic imposition and ensuring transparency with private sector participation in the process of evaluating applications should be provided for in the IRR,” it noted, adding this would prevent abuse and graft in the government’s fiscal incentives for the private sector.

The association also said there should not be any provision that would defy the mandate on full deregulation of the industry.

PISA stressed national shipping associations should be tasked to help in the accreditation of ship operators applying to avail of the incentives.

“The IRR can require operators to affiliate themselves with the concerned national shipping associations to enable the association to police the ranks of their members and assist the government in enforcing higher safety and operating standards,” it pointed out.

The model proposed is that of Japan, where the Japan Coastal Shipping Association is officially mandated to perform certain industry-regulation functions.

PISA included in its position paper the proposed amendments submitted by its subordinate associations, including the Philippine Liner Shipping Association (PLSA) and the Lighterage Association of the Philippines (LAP).

The PLSA said the IRR should consider strengthening provisions on the classing of vessels and the retirement of substandard ships to ensure safe, reliable and efficient service to the public at all times.

LAP suggested tug and barge operations should continue to be exempt from the Certificate of Public Convenience (CPC) requirement and be required to operate under a different certificate of authority. The CPC is a product of the Public Service Act for public utilities.

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