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Marina seeks Malacañang approval of maritime plan

Marina seeks Malacañang approval of maritime plan

The Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) expressed optimism that President Rodrigo Duterte would immediately approve the maritime industry development program (MIDP) and support the P1-billion target project funds for this year.

Marina Officer in charge Vice Admiral Narciso Vingson Jr. said MIDP 2019-2028, which was approved by the Marina Board and Department of Transportation on Dec. 14, 2018, will be presented to President Duterte this January.

“I hope that the President will approve the MIDP and the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) will approve our budget projection. The total funding requirement is P94 billion for the 10-year program. For this year, our target is to have P1 billion,” he said.

Based on industry analysis, there will be a shortage of 92,000 officers by 2020 and it will further increase to 147,500 in 2025. The maritime develoment plan will give even the local shipping sector an opportunity to employ more filipino seafarers and to prepare them to be officers faster.

The major programs under the MIDP include the development of an international maritime hub, coastal and Inland Waterway Transport System, and Philippine Maritime Safety Enhancement; and the Establishment of Maritime Information Management and Technology Center.

Vingson said there were growing opportunities for the maritime sector. Based on industry analysis, there will be a shortage of 92,000 officers by 2020 and it will further increase to 147,500 in 2025. This is an opportunity to employ more Filipino seafarers.

Based on available data, there were 442,820 seafarers deployed overseas in 2016.

The projected increase in visitor arrivals via cruises is expected to reach 456,164 passengers with 402 port calls by 2022, up by over 866 percent or 47,098 passengers registered in 2016.

Demand for shipping, cruise tourism and shipbuilding was also projected to increase in the future due to increase economic growth of developing countries; population growth and increasing urbanization; growing volume of trade with changing patterns; continuing growth of energy consumption; and increase expectations with regards to health, safety, security — and marine environmental protection.

Marina said the demand for coastal and inland waterways transport system would intensify to lessen urban traffic congestion; offer alternative cost and energy efficient mode of transport and extend route distance to serve more people and places.

Marina planned to increase ship registry in the Philippines, which currently stood at 116.

Vingson said incentives or tax breaks could be given to investors who would help make the maritime development program a reality.