MARINA directs additional 4 shipping companies to serve Iloilo – Guimaras route

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) has directed additional (4) shipping companies to serve the Iloilo – Guimaras route pending the investigation on the capsizing of three (3) motorbancas at said route Saturday, effective immediately.

Through a letter directive pursuant to Section 12 of Presidential Decree No. 474 issued yesterday, 05 August 2019, Montenegro Shipping Lines Incorporated and Tri-Star Megalink Corporation shall deploy one (1) Roll-on / Roll-off vessel each, while Ocean Fast Ferries Incorporated and 2GO Group Incorporated shall deploy one (1) fastcraft each to address the current passenger traffic at the Iloilo – Guimaras route.

This is in addition to the directive given to FF Cruz Shipping Corporation to increase their schedule of voyage frequency from one to two round trips per hour in the said route by deploying two (2) RoRo vessels.

Yesterday, 05 August 2019, the MARINA has suspended operations of all passenger motorbancas operating the Iloilo – Guimaras route, while the agency conducts a thorough safety standards assessment and evaluation in relation to the full implementation of MARINA Circular 2016-02 or the “Revised Rules on the Phase Out of Wooden-Hulled Ships Carrying Passengers in Domestic Shipping”.

The temporary suspension will remain until such time the MARINA has ensured that all safety concerns of motorbancas are properly addressed. The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) shall enforce the advisory on the temporary suspension, until further notice.

The MARINA continues to remind operators to ensure maritime safety at all times by observing the latest weather forecast, conducting proper risk assessment, and applying control measures, as needed.

Duterte signs EO 84 institutionalizing IMSAS Council

MANILA – President Rodrigo Roa Duterte recently signed Executive Order No. 84 institutionalizing the Inter-agency Council on the IMO Member State Audit Scheme (IMSAS).

This milestone further strengthens the Philippine maritime administration’s performance of its obligations and commitments as a Member State to the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

The IMSAS Council is composed of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary as Chairperson and Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) Administrator as Vice-Chairperson. Representatives from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), and Cebu Port Authority (CPA) act as members.

EO 84 serves as the legal framework of the IMSAS Council to fulfill its functions relative to the adoption of the provisions of applicable international instruments and conventions, as well as mechanisms to certify that the Philippines fully satisfies its responsibilities as a flag, port, and coastal State. Above all, the IMSAS Council shall ensure that its member agencies fully and effectively implement and enforce the IMO Instruments in an integrated manner.

Moreover, the Council is assisted by a Technical Working Group (TWG) responsible for providing support on specific matters concerning the IMSAS. The group consists of representatives from the DOTr, MARINA, DFA, PCG, PPA, CPA, Commission on Higher Education (CHED), National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA), Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), Office for Transportation Security (OTS), and Philippine National Police (PNP) Maritime Group.

Meanwhile, as part of its preparation for the IMSAS in 2021, the Council convened on 15 May 2019 to discuss the draft Philippine IMO Strategy which contains the measures that the country will adopt to fully comply with its obligations and commitments as a responsible IMO member state.  

The IMSAS seeks to assess the level of implementation and enforcement of the provisions of mandatory IMO instruments pertaining to safety of life at sea, prevention of pollution from ships, standards of training, certification, and watchkeeping for seafarers, load lines, tonnage, as well as regulations for preventing collisions at sea.

MARINA Holds 1st IMSAS Council Meeting

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – In preparation for the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Member State Audit Scheme (IMSAS) in 2021, the first IMSAS Inter-agency Council meeting has convened at the MARINA Central Office to consider the preparatory activities undertaken by the agencies performing maritime administration functions.
Through Department Order No. 2018-006, the IMSAS Inter-agency Council which is composed of representatives from the DOTr, MARINA, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), Office for Transportation Security (OTS), Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) and National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA) is created to ensure that the Philippines meets its obligations and responsibilities as an IMO Member State.
In the first IMSAS Inter-agency Council meeting, Department of Transportation (DOTr) OIC – Undersecretary for Maritime Fernando Juan C. Perez spearheaded the discussions on the draft Philippine IMO Strategy and Cross Table of Responsibilities. 
The draft Philippine IMO Strategy contained the measures that the Philippines will adopt to fully and effectively implement and enforce the mandatory IMO Instruments which it has ratified including the Safety of Life at Seas (SOLAS), International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL), Convention on International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGS), International Convention on Load Lines, and International Convention on the Tonnage Measurement of Ships and the International Convention for the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for seafarers. It also highlighted the key performance indicators (KPIs), timeline, office, and budget to ensure that it has given full and complete effect to the international maritime instruments.
Furthermore, the Council exchanged views on the Cross Table of Responsibilities, specifically on the delineation of the roles and responsibilities of the Philippine maritime administration under the mandatory IMO instruments.
Meanwhile, the Council also discussed the draft department order on the designation of a single point of contact for IMSAS 2021 and the creation of an IMSAS support and implementation unit as action plans after the IMSAS mock audit conducted in 2018. 
Finally, MARINA OIC-Administrator Vice Admiral Narciso A Vingson Jr emphasized the importance of complying with international obligations and responsibilities of the Philippines as a State Party, specifically in boosting the confidence of the Philippines as a maritime nation to trade with other countries.