Int’l audit prompts action plan from MARINA, other gov't agencies

By Raymond Carl Dela Cruz

November 13, 2023, 7:37 pm

MANILA – The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) and several other government agencies have banded together to ensure the country’s compliance with the recent International Maritime Organization (IMO) Member State Audit Scheme (IMSAS) on the country’s shipping sector.

In a statement on Monday, MARINA said an inter-agency workshop held from Nov. 8 to 10 in Clark, Pampanga resulted in a comprehensive discussion on the IMSAS evaluation, identifying its root causes and drafting a corrective action plan.

“After the preliminaries, representatives of agencies were grouped based on the four areas – common areas, flag state, state, and coastal state, to discuss and evaluate the findings and come up with the necessary action plan,” it said.

The Philippines is expected to submit its output to the IMO in the first quarter of 2024.

The workshop was attended by representatives from MARINA, the Department of Transportation (DOTr), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), Cebu Port Authority (CPA), Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), National Mapping and Resource Information Authority and the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).

During the event, MARINA director Ramon Hernandez, the agency's IMSAS focal point person, called on the participants to work towards compliance with the “III Code” or the IMO Instruments Implementation Code.

IMO member states are audited against the III Code to assess capability and resources to satisfy international obligations in terms of port state, coastal state and flag state.

“[The III Code] is expected to improve the Philippine implementation and enforcement of the mandatory IMO instruments, resulting in safe, secure, environmentally sound, efficient, and sustainable shipping,” Hernandez said.

The Philippines’ mandatory IMSAS was held from Oct. 2 to 9 with the goal of testing the country’s commitment to upholding international maritime standards.

The audit is held at periodic intervals not exceeding seven years, with the Philippines being a member state of the IMO since 1964. (PNA)