The Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) is formulating a 10-year roadmap aimed at making the Philippines a major maritime nation and the maritime industry a key contributor to inclusive growth and socioeconomic development.
The Maritime Industry Development Plan (MIDP) envisions a well-developed and globally oriented maritime industry, Marina administrator Marcial Quirico Amaro III said in a speech during the roadmap’s launch on June 1.
The 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 in the 1980s. The MIDP will be created together with industry stakeholders and other concerned government agencies.
Transportation Undersecretary for Maritime Felipe Judan, in his keynote speech during the event, said that while the Philippine maritime industry is developing fast, so are those of its neighbors, necessitating a strategic plan to propel further the country’s maritime industry.
The MIPD’s goals include strengthening Marina’s leadership so as to transform the Philippines into a major maritime nation. The master plan aims to accelerate and expand domestic shipping services; build modern, seaworthy ships through a globally competitive ship building, ship repair, and ship breaking industry; adhere to and transform international obligations and responsibilities into national laws; and promote and develop the Philippines as 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.
The roadmap will cover all sectors governed by Marina, namely, maritime administration, domestic shipping, overseas shipping, maritime manpower, shipbuilding and ship repair, and a new category, fishing.
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.
For the domestic shipping sector, Marina aims to provide connectivity through 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 human element of shipping; and promote and protect the welfare of all maritime workers.
For fishing, which Amaro noted is an emerging maritime sector, 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.
The final contents of the roadmap “will be filled in as Marina undertakes its consequently scheduled national and regional roadmapping and public consultation,” Amaro noted. – Roumina Pablo
Image courtesy of posterize at FreeDigitalPhotos.net