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Marcos OKs 10-year Maritime Industry Development Plan 2028

Marcos OKs 10-year Maritime Industry Development Plan 2028
Raymond Carl Dela Cruz and Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos February 13, 2024

MANILA – President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has approved the 10-year Maritime Industry Development Plan 2028 (MIDP) as the country’s whole-of-nation roadmap for the integrated development and strategic direction of the maritime industry.

Under Executive Order (EO) 55 signed by Marcos on Feb. 8, the MIDP is envisioned to create a “strong and reliable” Philippine Merchant Fleet that addresses the sea transport requirements, in support of national development.

EO 55 emphasizes the need for a “clearly defined and coordinated” roadmap that will accelerate the integrated development of the country’s maritime industry to realize the full potential of the Philippines as a maritime nation.

“To ensure the effective implementation of the MIDP, it is imperative that all government agencies and instrumentalities align and harmonize their policies and courses of action with the 10-Year MIDP,” the EO read, adding that the plan is consistent with the “AmBisyon Natin 2024 of a strongly rooted, comfortable and secure life for all Filipinos.”

The new EO mandates the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) to adopt a system for the effective implementation, monitoring and review of the MIDP and its component programs, which include modernization, expansion, and promotion of domestic and overseas shipping industries, and shipbuilding and ship repair industry.

The promotion of a highly skilled and competitive maritime workforce; enhancement of maritime transport safety and security; and promotion of environmentally sustainable maritime industry are also part of the component programs of the MIDP.

Other component programs include the implementation of sustainable maritime innovation, transformation, digitalization and knowledge center; and the adoption of an effective and efficient maritime administration governance system.

EO 55 also creates the MIDP Technical Board (TB) to assist the MARINA Board in implementing, monitoring, updating, and reviewing the plan. The MIDP TB will be composed of MARINA Board representatives with rank not lower than an assistant secretary, or its equivalent.

The technical board is tasked to review, monitor and recommend approval of MIDP-related policies and programs to the MARINA Board; periodically conduct a comprehensive review of the plan; establish an integrated database and information system for the maritime industry; and prepare progress and performance reports.

The MARINA Board may invite or enjoin the participation of other relevant agencies or instrumentalities as additional members, whenever necessary in the performance and functions of the MIDP TB.

It may also form technical working groups (TWG) based on the component programs identified in the MIDP, consisting of representatives of agencies and instrumentalities with relevant mandates.

Representatives to the TWGs must have a rank not lower than a director post or its equivalent.

The MARINA is directed to implement the communication plan included as part of the MIDP, in coordination with the Presidential Communications Office.

It is also mandated to submit to the Office of the Executive Secretary a progress report on the status of implementation of EO 55 and the MIDP within six months from the implementation of this Order, and every year thereafter.

The funding requirements for the implementation of EO 55 will be charged against current and available appropriations of MARINA and other relevant agencies, subject to pertinent budgeting, accounting, and auditing laws, rules and regulations.

The funds needed for the continued implementation of the EO will be included in the budget proposals of the MARINA and other relevant agencies, subject to the usual budget preparation process.

EO 55, which was made public on Tuesday, takes effect upon publication in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation.

The Maritime Industry Decree of 1974, which created the MARINA, mandates the preparation and annual updating of a 10-year MIDP that contains a rational and integrated development plan of the maritime industry for submission to and approval by the president.

Meanwhile, the MARINA welcomed the MIDP's approval and adoption.

“This strategic move underscores the commitment of the Philippine government to harness the full potential of our maritime industry for national development,” MARINA said in a statement.

The MIDP, it said, has a “crucial role” in guiding the maritime sector by enhancing the Philippine Merchant Fleet, expanding domestic and overseas shipping industries, and developing a skilled maritime workforce.

“The collaborative efforts between MARINA, the Department of Transportation, and partner agencies have been instrumental in shaping the strategic direction of the Philippine maritime industry, and we look forward to continuing this partnership in the implementation phase of the MIDP,” it said.

It highlighted the inclusion of measures to modernize and expand the shipbuilding and ship repair industry, enhance maritime transport safety and security, and promote environmental sustainability.

“These initiatives will not only propel the growth of the maritime sector but also contribute to the overall welfare of our citizens and the protection of our marine resources,” it said.

The agency committed to working with other government agencies, the private sector, and other stakeholders for the effective implementation of the MIDP.

“We are ready to lend our expertise and support to the MIDP Technical Board in carrying out its mandate and fulfilling the objectives set forth in Executive Order No. 55,” it said. (PNA)