MARINA seeks EO to implement Maritime Industry Development Plan

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MARINA seeks EO to implement Maritime Industry Development Plan
Department of Transportation’s anniversary town hall meeting on February 6 on the updated Maritime Industry Development Plan 2028. Photo from DOTr.
  • The Maritime Industry Authority requested President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to issue an executive order implementing the updated Maritime Industry Development Plan (MIDP) 2028
  • Aside from the EO, MARINA administrator Sonia Malaluan said they will be working with relevant government agencies for the development of project proposals for the budget process with the Department of Budget and Management and Congress
  • Malaluan said they will be working on budget proposals for projects and forge agreements for the implementation of the MIDP
  • Transport Secretary Jaime Bautista called on maritime agencies and private sector partners to align their projects and programs with the updated MIDP

The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) has requested President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to issue an executive order to implement the updated roadmap that aims to achieve a nationally-integrated and globally competitive Philippine maritime industry by 2028.

During their presentation at the Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) anniversary town hall meeting on February 6 on the updated Maritime Industry Development Plan (MIDP) 2028, MARINA administrator Sonia Malaluan, said they made the request to Marcos last January 17.

READ: MARINA updates maritime industry development plan

Aside from the EO, Malaluan said they will be working with relevant government agencies for the development of project budget proposals for evaluation of the Department of Budget and Management and Congress.

MARINA will also forge relevant memorandum of agreement or understanding for the implementation of the MIDP, and come up with a communication plan that details strategies by which the roadmap will be disseminated to all relevant stakeholders of the maritime industry.

Transport Secretary Jaime Bautista, during the same event, called on maritime agencies and private sector partners to align their projects and programs with the updated MIDP.

“I urge our maritime agencies and stakeholders to anchor their initiatives to this Plan that should serve as road map, or rather as sea map, binding together our individual efforts,” Bautista said.

Mr. Marcos during the updated MIDP launch in February 2023 urged concerned government agencies “to pursue a whole-of-government approach to effectively implement the MIDP 2028 as well as to continue communicating with member-states of the International Maritime Organization and the European Union-Committee on Safe Seas.”

The MIDP is a decade-long roadmap that was launched in 2017. It began implementation in mid-2019 but this was suspended by the COVID-19 pandemic. Revisions were made since 2021 and final updating was made at the start of 2023, primarily to ensure consistency with the latest Philippine Development Plan 2022-2028 and the National Transport Policy, and its alignment with the socioeconomic agenda of the new administration. The updated version was formally launched in February 2023.

The creation of the roadmap is in compliance with Presidential Decree No. 474 (Maritime Industry Decree of 1974), which directs MARINA to create master plans for the industry. The last 10-year roadmap created by MARINA was in the 1980s.

The goal of the roadmap is for the Philippines to have a strong, and reliable Philippine merchant fleet that addresses the sea transport requirements of the archipelago in support of the national development agenda by 2028.

The updated MIDP seeks to increase access to a safe, reliable, efficient, affordable, sustainable and integrated sea transport system for passengers and shippers; increase capacity and production of shipbuilding and ship repair industry; and increase employability of the maritime workforce and create new and quality jobs through reskilling and upskilling of the workforce.

In the MIDP 2028, programs were categorized; some merged while other components were reduced or reclassified. In the previous version, there were 10 priority programs that needed to be implemented until 2028.

The updated version features three overriding programs — four core programs, and one enabling program.

The goals and outcomes of each program are interrelated.

Malaluan said the roadmap covers 120 projects and activities as well as a list of enabling legislation that will help support the objectives of the MIDP.

The overriding programs underpin the goals and outcomes of core programs, while the enabling program is geared towards facilitating the implementation of both the overriding and core programs.

The core programs include the following:

  • Modernization and expansion of the domestic shipping industry — It aims to modernize and develop a strong and dynamic domestic shipping fleet that will provide safe and efficient inter-island and trade routes, stimulate local economies, and develop new cruise routes and ports for tourism
  • Promote and expand the overseas shipping industry — Focuses on strengthening the Philippine ship registry and expand the country’s merchant fleet, reduce reliance on foreign-flagged ships, and create employment opportunities for Filipino seafarers and shore-based maritime workers.
  • Modernize, promote, and expand the shipbuilding and ship repair industry — Aims to addresses the demand for modern and technologically advanced ships. Targeted as a priority outcome is the increase of domestic trading ships built in the Philippines which results in foreign exchange savings which would otherwise be paid to foreign shipbuilders.
  • Promote highly-skilled and competitive maritime workforce — Aims to enhance the competitiveness of the maritime industry by preparing a reservoir of competent maritime human resources. This will help propagate best practices and transfer knowledge through the academe and training institutions.

The overriding programs are:

  • Enhancement of maritime transport safety and security—Aims to improve safety and efficiency of Philippine ships and promote cooperation between regions.
  • Promotion of environmentally sustainable maritime industry — Aims to accelerate the implementation of environmental regulations and standards to prevent pollution from shipping activities, transfer and spread of invasive aquatic species, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from ships, thereby reducing negative impacts on the marine environment.
  • Implementation of a sustainable maritime innovation, transformation, digitalization and knowledge center– Digitalization and automation in maritime transport will optimize processes, create new opportunities, and transform supply chains and trade geography.

The enabling program is the adoption and implementation of an effective and efficient maritime administration governance system. This program covers all other MIDP implementing agencies which are performing maritime transport-related functions. Vital to the success of the enabling program are components identified such as the organizational restructuring, the sustained capacity building program, the enhanced maritime multilaterals and multi-sector linkages, the enhanced systems and good governance and strategic communication and risk management.