DOTr seeks PH reelection to IMO Council

By Raymond Carl Dela Cruz

November 28, 2023, 8:02 pm

<p>Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista<em> (File photo)</em></p>

Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista (File photo)

MANILA – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is campaigning for the Philippines’ reelection to a seat in the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Council during the ongoing 33rd IMO Assembly in London.

In a statement on Tuesday, DOTr Secretary Jaime Bautista said that being elected to the IMO under “Category C for the 2024-2025 biennium”, the Philippines will help transform its maritime industry into a “progressive, safe, sustainable, environmentally sound, and future-ready, green marine industry.”

“We believe our reelection will allow us to continue contributing to the global maritime industry, not just as a top provider of top-caliber seafarers but also at promoting safe and secure shipping operations, geared towards growth, modernization, resiliency, and sustainability,” Bautista said.

The IMO is expected to adopt the “Strategic Plan for the period 2024-2049” during the London assembly.

To date, Bautista said the country has a “10-year Maritime Industry Development Plan” that includes strengthening the shipbuilding industry, with the Philippines currently the world's fifth largest shipbuilding nation.

“As of 2021, the Philippines has recorded a total of 116 shipyards and locally constructed 569 ships for domestic use with at least 47 ships exported in 2022,” he said.

Bautista also cited the European Commission’s (EC) recent decision to continue recognizing the certificates of training issued to Filipino seafarers.

The Philippines is also the first member-state recognized by the International Labor Organization to fully comply with the international requirements of the Seafarers Identity Documents Convention of 2003.

The IMO Assembly is the highest governing body of the organization. The IMO itself is a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for regulating shipping.

The 33rd IMO Assembly started on Nov. 27 and will end on Dec. 6. (PNA)