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DOTr: PH gearing up to be major maritime nation

DOTr: PH gearing up to be major maritime nation
Emmie V. Abadilla November 21, 2022

The Philippines is now gearing up to be a major maritime nation, Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Jaime Bautista announced Monday, November 21, 2022.

For this reason, the DOTr seeks to strengthen maritime sector agencies, such as the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) and the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) to protect the interests of passengers and stakeholders.

This developed as the MARINA targets to fully implement its 10-year Maritime Development Plan (MIDP) by 2028, to boost the Philippines’ maritime industry by a hundred percent.

This will increase the sector’s contribution to the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from P720 billion todate to P1.44 trillion.

The MIDP aims to increase the production capacity in shipbuilding and ship repair; upgrade relevant maritime technologies; develop and expand shipping and maritime tourism routes.

It will also improve higher maritime education and training programs; develop and implement practices in maritime safety and security as well as the protection of the marine environment.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) assured the MARINA it will help in the implementation of the MIDP, Undersecretary for Planning and Project Development Timothy John Batan assured during last week’s discussion.

DOTr’s other initiatives includes the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) agreements with other countries to address anti-piracy, anti-terrorism and anti-illegal drugs campaigns and PCG-USCG maritime exercises.

The Philippines is also participating in the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery

Furthermore, the country is establishing a multi-sectoral National Coast Watch System (NCWS) and Joint Peace and Security Coordinating Center (JPSCC) with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police, as well as Maritime Command Centers (MCCs) with ASEAN member nations Indonesia and Malaysia.

“We look at opportunities to forge collaborations with maritime-related agencies of other countries to benchmark our efforts at raising our maritime industry to global standards” Bautista pointed out.

“The DOTr realizes the strengths and weaknesses of our maritime agencies but we are optimistic at being able to enhance our capabilities at ensuring the safety of our vessels, passengers and crew,” he maintained

Being archipelagic, the nation relies on its maritime industry to recover from the economic repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“With massive coastal lowlands and marine resources, the country relies largely on sea transport for mobility of people and goods” the Secretary concluded.