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PH, France sign agreement strengthening maritime industry

PH, France sign agreement strengthening maritime industry
Zacarian Sarao - November 13, 2022

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines’ Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) on Sunday announced that it signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the French Embassy in the Philippines boosting maritime safety and security in the country, particularly in the industry of shipbuilding and ship repair.

According to Marina in a statement, the MOA was signed by Marina Administrator Hernani Fabia and the Embassy of France in the Philippines Economic Service Head Olivier Ginepro on Nov. 8.

Based on the signed agreement, France will deploy a French maritime expert in the country who will provide the necessary technical assistance, training, and consultancy service to Marina.

It also obligated the French Embassy “to promote France’s best maritime practices in ensuring the safety of life and property at sea, maritime security and marine environment protection; promote active participation in developing international standards for the safety and security of transport as well as preventing vessels from polluting the seas.”

Apart from these, it will also aid Marina in the creation of a National Transport Plan dedicated to the shipping industry, industry capability and capacity assessments, policy formulation, as well as the assessment and implementation of MIDP, and its related training.

Both parties then expressed optimism that the said partnership will lead to the promotion and effective implementation of the Ten-Year Maritime Industry Development Plan (MIDP) — which aims to replace obsolete and uneconomic vessels, modernize the local fleet, enhance domestic shipbuilding, repair, maintain and develop a pool of trained manpower.

Marina said that based on 2020 statistics, the Philippines has the 5th largest shipbuilding nation in the world, with the number of Philippine registered vessels standing at about 29,974 comprised of 4,114 large merchant vessels and 25,860 motorboats and fishing boats.

Of the merchant fleet, there are 11,898 passenger ships. Over 72 million passengers per year were also transported by sea vessels excluding the years past 2020.