Home » Maritime » Transfer of PSB powers to Marina seen this year

THE power to supervise and regulate international sea freight forwarders may be transferred to the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) from the Philippine Shippers’ Bureau (PSB) within the year.

The Marina Board, which includes representatives from PSB and Department of Trade and Industry, will tackle a proposed executive order related to the transfer in a meeting this month.

“We are hoping the EO will be approved this year,” Marina administrator Vicente Suazo, Jr. said. “Once approved, we could complete the transition period also within the year,” he added.

The draft EO noted that Marina in pursuant to Section 3.a of Presidential Decree No. 474 provides the definition of the “maritime industry in the broadest concept of the term,” thus encompassing the freight forwarding sector.

The same decree specifies that the maritime industry covers “all enterprises engaged in the business of designing, constructing, manufacturing, acquiring, operating, supplying, repairing and/or maintaining vessels, or component parts thereof; of managing and/or operating shipping lines, stevedoring arrastre and customs brokerage services, shipyards, drydocks, marine railways, marine repair shops, shipping and freight forwarding agencies and similar enterprises”.

The draft EO also appoints Marina to “supervise and oversee the ship agents, representatives or local branches of international/foreign shipping lines, relating to standards of safety, quality and operations, including the rate-setting mechanism of the former applicable to local charges only.”

Marina is drafting a memorandum of agreement with the PSB stipulating the transition period.

The Port Users Confederation and the Philippine International Seafreight Forwarders Association have been pushing for the transfer of powers from PSB to Marina. In their letter to the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), they said Marina is the most appropriate government body for the job.

PISFA and PUC also requested DOTC to oversee the multimodal transport and international logistics industries. The DOTC is now undertaking to implement the Asean Framework Agreement on Multimodal Transport, and the Asean Sectoral Integration Protocol for the Logistics Service Sector pursuant to the Asean Framework Agreement for the Integration of Priority Sectors.

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