MARINA to roll out blockchain-enabled system for processing applications in July

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  • The Maritime Industry Authority will roll out its blockchain-enabled system for electronic processing of applications on July 1
  • MARINA BEST will consolidate and integrate all information systems being used by different MARINA service units and offices
  • Administrator Sonia Malaluan said MARINA will issue an advisory regarding the transitory period

The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) will roll out its blockchain-enabled system for electronic processing of applications on July 1, according to MARINA administrator Sonia Malaluan.

MARINA completed its stakeholders’ orientation and users’ training of the MARINA Blockchain-Enabled Certification System (MARINA BEST) last May and stakeholders “should be registering already because by July 1, we’ll start, we’ll roll out the system,” Malaluan said in a chance interview with PortCalls at the sidelines of the recent 9th Philmarine 2024 Expo.

Malaluan said the rollout will cover issuance of all certificates and licenses issued by MARINA, except for the Certificate of Public Convenience or the franchise, which will be included in the system by August or September.

She said MARINA will also issue an advisory regarding the transitory period since there will be certificates issued prior to the roll-out that will not be QR coded under MARINA BEST. The system allows online verification and validation of issued certificates through QR code.

For permanent documents, Malaluan said they will re-issue these with a QR code when the stakeholder renews any certificate through MARINA BEST.

“For example, their safety documents will expire July 5. So when they apply for the safety document, we’ll reissue all other permanent documents—registry, ownership, tonnage, and all with the safety document,” Malaluan explained.

MARINA BEST will consolidate and integrate all existing information systems being used by the different MARINA service units and offices.

It aims to enhance the agency’s online services, paving the way for contactless transactions from application to release of certificates, licenses, letter approvals, and documents. The project uses blockchain technology to keep data secured from unauthorized changes.

It is meant to provide an efficient unified information system to improve internal productivity and secure data access.

With MARINA BEST, all applications with MARINA will be online and real-time, both through a web portal or mobile, and will make use of electronic certificates, licenses, and documents. It will also allow online payment and can provide updates and tracking of applications. It can also automatically notify users of the expiration of certificates, permits, and licenses.

MARINA said the real-time status monitoring of application will significantly lead to reduced time, cost, and error. The standardization and digitalization of processes will also not only minimize the risk of fraud and data loss, but will also ensure better visibility and traceability and reduce opportunity of corruption through the entire process.

MARINA said the system will provide consistency and ensure that all processes in all regional  offices have the same view and order of transactions.

It will also provide accuracy and is auditable, which means all sequence of transaction changes are recorded and can not be deleted.

MARINA BEST will cover all of the maritime agency’s processes, as well as shipyard operators, seafarers, ship owners/operators, license manning agencies, payment gateways, employees, Department of Health-accredited clinics, assessment centers, maritime training institutions, maritime higher education institutions, and other concerned government agencies. All MARINA clients will be required to use the system through an authorized representative that will have unique access rights to perform and facilitate designated functions.

Malaluan said she had given the instruction to send letters to all shipping companies and stakeholders—except for seafarers—to have their authorized representatives who will be using MARINA BEST.

The joint venture of Microbase, Inc. and Ideyateach, Inc. is the system provider for MARINA BEST. – Roumina Pablo

READ: MARINA sets 2024 priorities, led by digitalization