Marcos approves adoption of 10-year Maritime Industry Development Plan

MANILA. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
MANILA. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.Photo from Bongbong Marcos Facebook page

PRESIDENT Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has approved the adoption of the 10-year Maritime Industry Development Plan 2028 (MIDP), which aims to integrate development into the strategic direction of the country’s maritime industry.

In a four-page Executive Order 55 signed by Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin on February 8, 2024, Marcos raised the need for MIDP in a bid to fully realize the country’s potential as a maritime nation.

“To fully realize our potential as a maritime nation, the country requires a clearly defined and coordinated roadmap that shall accelerate the integrated development of the Philippine Maritime Industry,” said Marcos.

Under the MIDP, the Philippine Merchant Fleet, which addresses sea transport requirements in support of national development, is envisioned to be stronger and more reliable.

It is anchored on the administration’s “AmBisyon Natin 2024” of a strongly rooted, comfortable and secure life for all Filipinos.

The MIDP requires the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) to adopt a system for the effective implementation, monitoring and review of the MIDP, and its component programs, which include modernization and expansion of domestic shipping and promotion, expansion of the overseas shipping industry.

The component programs include the modernization, expansion and promotion

of shipbuilding and ship repair industry; promotion of highly-skilled and competitive maritime workforce; enhancement of maritime transport safety and security; promotion of environmentally sustainable maritime industry; implementation of a sustainable maritime innovation, transformation, digitalization and knowledge center; and adoption of an effective and efficient maritime administration governance system.

Government agencies and instrumentalities shall also align and harmonize their policies and courses of action to ensure its effective implementation while an MIDP Technical Board (TB) is created to assist the board in implementing, monitoring, updating and reviewing the program.

The Marina Board representatives with rank not lower than of an assistant secretary, or its equivalent will serve as the MIDP TB.

The TB may also invite or enjoin participation of other relevant agencies or instrumentalities as additional members, whenever necessary in the performance and functions.

Marcos earlier certified as urgent the proposed Magna Carta for Filipino Seafarers, which aims to address recurring deficiencies in the domestic laws pertaining to the training and accreditation of thousands of Filipino seafarers that endanger their employment in the European market in particular, and the global maritime arena, in general.

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development listed the Philippines as among the top source of seafarers in the world in 2021.

From 2016 to 2021, Marina said 400,000 Filipino seafarers were deployed overseas on average.

But the European Maritime Safety Agency (Emsa) earlier flagged the country for not aligning with international maritime safety standards and marine education, particularly with the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping (STCW), putting thousands of seafarers’ jobs at risk.

Among the deficiencies noted by the EU on the country’s maritime and seafaring sector are on monitoring, supervision and evaluation of manning training and assessment; examination and assessment of competence, programs and course design and approval; availability and use of training facilities and simulators; onboard training and issue revalidation and recognition of certification endorsements. (TPM/SunStar Philippines)


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