MARINA vows stronger partnership with PCG

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MARINA PCG stronger partnership
Newly-appointed Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) administrator Sonia Malaluan in a dialogue with Philippine Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Ronnie Gavan. Photo from MARINA.
  • Maritime Industry Authority’s new chief, Sonia Malaluan, vows to enhance collaboration with the Philippine Coast Guard
  • A digital system for launch next year will give Philippine Coast Guard access to a database, preventing vessels with expired certificates from sailing
  • Both agencies commit to regular talks and nationwide training for Coast Guard personnel on MARINA policies and standards

Newly-appointed Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) administrator Sonia Malaluan expressed her commitment to a stronger and more engaging partnership with the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) during a courtesy visit to PCG Commandant Admiral Ronnie Gavan on December 28.

In the meeting, the MARINA chief emphasized the importance of collaboration between the two sister agencies that are under the Department of Transportation.

“MARINA is dedicated to fostering stronger connections with key agencies such as PCG and Commission on Higher Education. Our commitment is to maintain open lines of communication and work hand in hand with PCG to ensure the safety of passengers and vessels,” Malaluan said in a statement.

In response, Gavan said: “There is no hierarchy; we encourage both agencies to progress in fulfilling their mandates.”

Acknowledging the significance of technological advancements, Malaluan said MARINA’s Blockchain-Enabled Automated Certification System (BEST), which is slated for roll-out next year, will be able to provide PCG district offices access to a comprehensive database of vessels with expired and active certificates.

MARINA BEST is an enterprise web application for electronically processing applications with the maritime agency. The system will play a pivotal role in preventing vessels with expired Certificates of Public Convenience from setting sail, MARINA noted.

“The digitalization effort, slated for launch next year, will streamline certificate processes for shipping companies, ensuring a corruption-resistant environment by minimizing human intervention,” Malaluan said.

Nationwide training for stakeholders, including the PCG, will begin in February 2024.

During the meeting, MARINA and PCG committed to regular dialogues and a nationwide reorientation for PCG personnel on MARINA policies, rules, regulations, and standards.

Malaluan’s priorities for 2024—digitalization, safety of operations, and marine environment protection—garnered full support from PCG.

READ: New MARINA administrator Malaluan unveils priorities for maritime sector reforms

MARINA said the visit aligns with its broader agenda to establish stronger ties with government agencies for effective regulation and enforcement of maritime safety rules, ultimately contributing to a safer and more efficient maritime transportation system in the country.