Home » Maritime » 10-year PH maritime master plan ready by late 2018

The Philippine Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) aims to finish its 10-year maritime industry roadmap, which now includes maritime cruise and logistics, by the third quarter of this year.

Former Marina administrator Marcial Quirico Amaro III, in an interview with PortCalls on December 29, 2017, said the Maritime Industry Development Roadmap (MIDP) will be finished and signed by President Rodrigo Duterte sometime in the third quarter of 2018.

(Amaro has since been removed from office by President Rodrigo Duterte due to frequent overseas travels.)

He said finalizing the roadmap, which was launched in June last year, was taking time because of the need to coordinate with various government agencies and offices concerned with the different sectors of the maritime industry.

Marina has also been conducting consultations with stakeholders nationwide on the MIDP, a master plan with a decade-long vision for a well-developed and globally oriented maritime industry.

Crafting of the roadmap is pursuant to Section 5 of Presidential Decree No. 474, otherwise known as the Maritime Industry Decree of 1974, which states that the maritime agency should create master plans for the industry.

Amaro noted that the last 10-year roadmap created by Marina was still in the 1980s.

The new roadmap will cover all sectors governed by Marina, namely, maritime administration, domestic shipping, overseas shipping, maritime manpower, and shipbuilding and ship repair, as well as encompass new categories—maritime cruise, logistics, and shipping. During the June 2017 launch of the MIDP, Marina only added fishing as a new category.

Amaro said they have added maritime cruise, which includes cruise shipping and yachts; logistics; and fishing to the roadmap.

He noted that logistics service providers for maritime services, which include sea freight forwarders and port operators, are covered by Marina’s mandate. Asked if this will not overlap with the mandates of other agencies covering such services, Amaro said no, adding that this is why they are coordinating with other government agencies.

Fishing, which he noted covers fishermen and fishing boats, is provided under the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping for Seafarers signed in 1978. The country is a signatory to the convention, but has not been implementing it since then, noted Amaro.

The MIPD’s goals include strengthening Marina’s leadership so as to transform the Philippines into a major maritime nation. The master plan also aims to accelerate and expand domestic shipping services; build modern, seaworthy ships through a globally competitive shipbuilding, ship repair, and ship breaking industry; adhere to international obligations and responsibilities and transform them into national laws; and promote and develop the Philippines as a human resource capital for ship management and maritime services.

It also seeks to generate sustainable employment opportunities in the maritime industry; implement regulatory reforms and measures to ease doing business in the industry; and reduce or eliminate unnecessary regulatory burdens and administrative costs.

For maritime administration, Amaro said the goal is to strengthen the organizational and institutional capacity of Marina to respond to emerging issues and challenges arising from global and local maritime developments.

Strategies to achieve this, the Marina chief said, include promotion of public accountability and good governance; efficient delivery of services; promotion of legislative, inter-agency, and stakeholder relationship and communication; and becoming a responsive maritime administration to stakeholders with special needs.

Strategies for shipping development

For the domestic shipping sector, Marina aims to provide connectivity through an economic, efficient, safe, secure, and adequate maritime transport. The agency intends to achieve this by modernizing the domestic fleet; enhancing domestic shipping services; complying with maritime safety, security, and environmental protection standards; and providing a favorable climate for domestic and foreign investments.

Amaro said another target is to promote a globally competitive and technologically responsive shipbuilding and ship repair (SBSR) industry by investing in technology and innovation to develop knowledge for the sector.

For overseas shipping, Marina eyes promoting the sector as an instrument of employment creation and business opportunities. Amaro said they will promote and expand the country’s flag registry; project the Philippines as a responsible member of the international maritime community; develop and improve maritime routes and sea trade linkages to ensure connectivity; and promote the Philippines as a lay-up site for SBSR services.

Marina also intends to sustain the country’s position as the premier provider of globally competitive seafarers, and promote and develop the Philippines as the capital for ship management and human resources for other maritime services.

Amaro said strategies to pull this off include the following: develop manpower requirements responsive to the needs of the industry; comply and implement international obligations relating to the human element of shipping; and promote and protect the welfare of all maritime workers.

A new initiative

For fishing, which Amaro noted is an emerging maritime industry, the goal is to strengthen and institutionalize the documentation and licensing of the fishing fleet, the certification of seafarers, and the provision of safety training for fishermen.

Amaro earlier said this is the first undertaking of its kind in Marina’s history, as the agency had previously focused more on industry regulation rather than development. He added that it is actually “a major portion of Marina’s mandate to help the industry in its development.”

Parallel to crafting the MIDP is finalizing this year the updating of the Philippine Merchant Marine Rules and Regulations (PMMRR) 1997.

Amaro said the PMMRR will codify all memoranda of Marina to simplify its rules and regulations, which he said can be complicated and confusing and could be a source of corruption.

Marina earlier issued a special order creating a task force to review and revise the more than a decade old PMMRR to come up with a comprehensive regulatory framework for the maritime industry. – Roumina Pablo

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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