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US grant to fund study on PH vessel traffic management

US grant to fund study on PH vessel traffic management
Myla Iglesias - March 4, 2024

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the US government, through the US Embassy in Manila, have signed an agreement providing a US grant for a feasibility study for the implementation of a Vessel Traffic Management System (VTMS) at 10 locations in the country.

DOTr Secretary Jaime Bautista and US Ambassador to the Philippines MaryKay Carlson signed the agreement on March 2 providing a US grant for the selection of a consultant that would undertake the feasibility study.

The VTMS is expected to address maritime safety issues by enabling increased awareness and coordination of maritime traffic.

According to Bautista, the VTMS is vital not just for managing sea traffic, but also provides the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) with advanced communication redundancy.

He said the project may also be a “counter-measure to reported incidents of signal jamming” in the country’s economic zones.

For her part, Carlson said the latest grant of $1 million to the PCG will improve maritime safety and security in the Philippines.

“We are pleased to partner with Philippine authorities to develop an expanded VTMS to better manage maritime traffic, to prevent vessel collisions, and to protect marine environments,” Carlson said.

The VTMS is expected to increase the efficiency of maritime traffic in major waterways and ports, and provide active monitoring and navigational information for vessels.

The VTMS integrates data and information collected by advanced sensors, including radar, automatic identification systems and very high-frequency radios, to develop a complete picture of the maritime environment for effective traffic management and communication.

“We are very grateful for our partnership with the DOTr and PCG,” Carlson added.

In a related development, the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) and the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD) recently hosted the Maritime Science and Technology Forum 2024 which highlights the renewal of cooperation through the memorandum of agreement that was signed by PCIEERD and Marina.

A pre-resolution was also signed by the participants to formalize their commitment in participating to R&D initiatives that would create a culture of safer people, cleaner environment and energy-efficient ships in the domestic shipping sector.

Marina administrator Sonia Malaluan said emerging technology will continue to play a major role in the maritime sector to pursue its path toward a safer, more sustainable and resilient future.

Marina will come up with a R&D agenda that is in line with the effective implementation of the Maritime Industry Development Plan 2028, Malaluan added.

She also noted the importance of the Maritime Science and Technology Pre-Resolution, particularly in ensuring the commitment of both the government and private sector towards a more progressive Philippine maritime industry during the era of “Bagong Pilipinas.”