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All domestic shipping vessels must assist and accommodate ships carrying perishable goods during national emergencies such as port congestion, weather disturbance, or other natural calamities to allow the quick loading and unloading of these goods at ports, according to the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina).

Marina Advisory (MA) No. 2019-07 dated March 12 and published on March 20 says this is pursuant to Presidential Decree (PD) No. 474 (Maritime Industry Decree of 1974) Section 12 (d). The section states that the Marina administrator has the authority to require any public water transport utility or Philippine-flag vessel to provide shipping services to any coastal areas in the country if such services are needed to develop the area, meet emergency sealift requirements, or serve public interest.

The order aims to facilitate an “unimpeded and uninterrupted flow of ships carrying perishable goods and to achieve immediate and efficient loading and unloading of these cargoes at the ports during national emergencies.”

MA 2019-07 says the assistance to ships carrying perishable goods will be by giving them preferential access and the use of all ports during anchorage.

It notes that Marina shall regard such emergency situations “as a matter of grave concern requiring full and complete adherence to this advisory by all concerned.”

Non-compliance, it adds, shall be severely dealt with in accordance with applicable fines and penalties provided under existing Marina rules and regulations.

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