Home » Maritime, Press Releases » DOTr pushes upgrade of maritime industry, age cap on ships

The Philippine Department of Transportation (DOTr) wants the terms and policies of its modernization project for the maritime sector drafted and finalized within the year, according to Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade.

Tugade, in a recent dialogue with shipping stakeholders in Cebu, said DOTr is studying the modernization of shipping vessels, but has yet to set a specific age limit.

The transport chief stressed the need to avoid sea accidents resulting from the deteriorated state of ships so as to ensure the protection and safety of passengers. Tugade, however, noted that seaworthiness of ships will not be based solely on age, but also on a technology-based system of inspecting the internal and external components of ships.

DOTr, in a statement, said shipping lines committed to submit their position papers on ship modernization for the review and consideration of the transport department on or before June 12.

Two weeks after the position paper is submitted, or on June 26, DOTr said a meeting shall again be set amongst the group.

To further discuss the details, Tugade suggested conducting an all-encompassing maritime summit to be attended by all industry stakeholders who will collectively formulate a holistic approach to maritime issues and concerns.

Gusto ko sana, kapag tayo ay magkaroon ng isang honest to goodness maritime summit, ang maririnig ko ay solusyon at suhestyon, at hindi ‘yung pagkakamali ng nakaraan [Should we have an honest-to-goodness maritime summit, I hope to hear solutions and suggestions, not the mistakes of the past,” Tugade said.

Ang mga pagbabago at pag-unlad sa maritime sector ay hindi naman po dahil sa DOTr lang. Ito po ay dahil sa political will ng Pangulo at pagtutulungan ng mga ahensya ng gobyerno at ng pribadong sector [The changes and progress in the maritime sector are not just because of DOTr. They are also due to the political will of the President and the cooperation between government agencies and the private sector],” he added.

Even prior to the dialogue, since 2017, DOTr and attached agency Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) have been discussing plans to modernize the maritime sector, especially the replacement of the country’s old vessels.

Modernization and upgrading of vessels is also part of Marina’s 10-year Maritime Industry Development Plan.

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