Home » Press Releases » DOTC: MARINA’s Mejia most qualified to lead IMO
Dr Maximo Mejia, Jr is one among six vying for the position of Secretary General of the International Maritime Organization.

Maritime Industry Administrator Dr Maximo Mejia, Jr is one among six vying for the position of Secretary General of the International Maritime Organization. Polling will be held in London on June 30.

The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) is backing the candidacy of Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) administrator Dr. Maximo Mejia, Jr. for the post of secretary general of the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

“It would bring great pride and honor to the country for a Filipino to head the IMO,” Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said in a statement. “We are here to rally behind the Philippines’ bet Dr. Mejia, who is a most qualified candidate as an internationally acknowledged expert in the maritime industry.”

As transportation chief, Abaya will cast the country’s vote at the poll to be held in London on June 30. The term of the secretary general of the 40-state strong IMO lasts for four years, and one re-election is allowed afterward.

Mejia is one of six maritime officials nominated for the top position of IMO, the United Nations’ specialized agency and standard-setting authority on safety and security in shipping and prevention of maritime pollution by ships.

The five other aspirants are Andreas Chrysostomou, Cyprus’ acting director of the Department of Merchant Shipping; Andreas Nordseth, Danish Maritime Authority director-general; Vitaly Klyuev, Russia’s deputy director of the Department of State Policy for Maritime and River Transport; South Korea’s Ki-Tack Lim, president of the Port of Busan Authority; and Juvenal Shiundu, Kenya’s IMO representative.

“Filipinos are the preferred seafarers worldwide because they are competent, hardworking, and trustworthy. It would only be fitting, therefore, to have a competent, hardworking, and trustworthy Filipino trailblazing the future of the global industry at the helm of the IMO,” Abaya remarked.

DOTC noted that the Philippines supplies 30% of the world’s ocean-going manning requirements.

Local and foreign shipping line operators earlier expressed support for Mejia’s bid, noting his election offers the Philippines an opportunity to influence maritime standards internationally.

Mejia, who became Marina administrator in 2013, began his career as a 19-year-old midshipman at the U.S. Naval Academy. He later served as a commissioned officer of the Philippine Navy and the Philippine Coast Guard. He has held notable posts, such as Deputy Executive Director of the Task Force on Maritime Development, and been a member of the IMO-STCW (Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping for Seafarers) Panel of Competent Persons.

Prior to heading MARINA, Mejia taught at the World Maritime University (WMU) in Sweden, where he was also head of its maritime law and policy program. He has a bachelor’s degree from the US Naval Academy, two master’s degrees from Tuft University and WMU, and a doctorate from Lund University.

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