MARINA to roll out full online processing for seafarers

By Raymond Carl Dela Cruz

June 4, 2024, 5:24 pm Updated on June 4, 2024, 8:05 pm

MANILA – The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) will soon roll out full online services for seafarers and other maritime stakeholders to streamline processes and applications.

During the Kapihan sa Bagong Pilipinas media briefing on Tuesday, MARINA National Capital Region Director Marc Anthony Pascua said the rollout is part of their blockchain-enabled automatic certification system (BEST) and is in line with the Marcos administration's digitalization of government transactions.

“Lahat po ng processes natin magiging online na po. Naka QR code na mula umpisa hanggang matapos (All process will become online. We’ll use a quick response code from start to finish),” Pascua said.

Using the QR codes, he said partner agencies in the maritime sector such as the Philippine Coast Guard would easily check the authenticity of documents.

“That will verify kung naka-register po sa amin para maiwasan natin ang (That will verify if they’re registered with MARINA and we’ll spot) fraudulent and spurious documents,” he said.

BEST is a blockchain-enabled web application that aims to improve the agency’s online services and allow for contactless transactions.

The system is expected to allow real-time processing and updating of all applications and is accessible through the web -- both for mobile and computers.

It will allow MARINA clients to pay online, track and update their transactions, and offer notifications for certificate expiration.

MARINA conducted BEST training for each regional office from January to May this year.

To date, the agency uses other online systems such as the MARINA Integrated Seafarer’s Management Online system for the issuance, revalidation, and replacement of Certificate of Competency for seafarers.

MARINA offers online app to boat owners, seafarers in Ilocos Region

MARINA-Ilocos Region director Engineer Jedini Nur Sibal bared the same plan during a similar forum held at the Philippine Information Agency in San Fernando City, La Union.

“For instance, a boat owner need not go to Manila since the processes can be done online. Request for inspection could also be done through an online application. We will come to you provided that corresponding fees and required documents were submitted,” he said.

He said they are also conducting mobile registration documentation and licensing for recreational vessels, fishing vessels, and cargo vessels in far-flung areas.

MARINA will likewise provide training for seafarers’ certification and licensing requirements.

“There would be no need for them to go to accredited training centers to get training for small vessels, as we at MARINA will provide it to them,” he said. (With reports from Hilda Austria/PNA)