New MARINA administrator Malaluan unveils priorities for maritime sector reforms

Newly-appointed MARINA administrator Sonia Malaluan being sworn in by Transport Secretary Jaime Bautista on December 18. Photo from MARINA.
  • Newly-appointed Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) administrator Sonia Malaluan outlines priorities after taking office on December 18
  • Malaluan urges increased engagement with stakeholders and seeks support from the Department of Transportation for necessary reforms
  • Priorities include implementing the Maritime Industry Development Plan 2028, digitizing the agency’s services, and assessing and repealing obsolete policies

Sonia Malaluan, the newly-appointed Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) administrator, has outlined her priorities upon assuming her new role after being sworn in by Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista on December 18.

READ: Malaluan appointed MARINA administrator

In a speech following her oathtaking, Malaluan called for increased engagement with industry stakeholders and sought support from the Department of Transportation (DOTr), its mother agency, to implement necessary reforms.

“Let’s move forward to realize the economic potentials of our maritime sector. We need to change our mindset in public governance by engaging ourselves more with our industry stakeholders. I look forward to the series of dialogues with our partner-agencies and private sector stakeholders especially to our seafarers and small industry players in the countryside. We request the support of the Department of Transportation to enable us to institute the needed reforms,” said Malaluan.

Bautista, for his part, assured DOTr’s continued support to MARINA.

Included in Malaluan’s priorities are:

  • Effective implementation of the updated Maritime Industry Development Plan (MIDP) 2028
  • Digitalization of MARINA’s frontline services nationwide
  • Certification of MARINA’s core processes under ISO 9001:2015 standards for quality management system
  • Enhancement of maritime safety by addressing the causes of maritime incidents
  • Sustained compliance with the requirements of the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers 1978, as amended
  • Strengthening of the organizational structure and institutional capacity of MARINA
  • Strong collaboration and partnership with the Philippine Coast Guard
  • Preparation for the Philippine compliance with the 2023 International Maritime Organization Strategy on the Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Ships
  • Assessment of the effectiveness of existing policies and repeal those found to be obsolete and outdated
  • Engagement with industry stakeholders through regular fora, public consultations and dialogues

Malauan, a staunch advocate of women’s empowerment and equality, has actively campaigned for the sustainability of the maritime industry and the international call for decarbonization. She played a key role in crafting plans and programs for the industry — including the MIDP.

Before her appointment as MARINA administrator, Malaluan has been with MARINA for 34 years serving in various capacities across administrative, finance, planning, and operations. She held the position of MARINA deputy administrator for planning from November 2022.

President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. recently appointed Malaluan following the resignation of Hernani Fabia.