PH launches re-election campaign for IMO Council


The Philippines in the IMO


The Republic of the Philippines presents its candidature for re-election to the Council of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) under Category C—states which have special interests in maritime transport or navigation, and whose election to the Council will ensure the representation of all major geographic areas of the world.

The Philippines, a member of the International Maritime Organization since 1964, has ratified and acceded to a number of IMO Conventions and its amendments, and has been an active member of the IMO Council since 1997.

The Philippines has:

  • ratified or acceded to twenty-two (22) IMO Conventions;
  • hosted scores of maritime conferences or seminars, the most recent of which are:

1. Women in Maritime (WIMA)-Asia Conference on “Promoting Women’s Advocacy for Domestic Ferry Safety,” 21-25 September 2015


2. National Workshop on the “2011 Guidelines for the Control and Management of Ship’s Biofouling to Minimize the Transfer of Invasive Aquatic Species,” 22-23 June 2015

3. Conference on the “Enhancement of Safety of Ships Carrying Passengers on Non-International Voyages,” 24 April 2015

4. National Consultation Meeting on the “Global Environment Facility-United Nations Development Programmed-International Maritime Organization (GEF-UNDP-IMO) Project on Removing the Capacity Barriers for Implementing Energy Efficiency Measures for International Shipping,” 17-18 July 2014

5. Regional Training Course on “Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement of the Ballast Water Management Convention in the ASEAN Region,” 16-18 October 2013

6. National Workshop on “The Steps Towards Ratification of the Ballast Water Management Convention with an Emphasis on the Legal Framework,” 14-15 October 2013

7. National Forum on “Safety of Domestic Ferries,” 09-11 September 2013

8. Regional Training Course for Auditors under the Voluntary IMO Member State Audit Scheme (VIMSAS)-Asia Region, 20-24 May 2013

  • attended and/or supported the IMO conferences or workshops in other countries in the region, such as the IMO Regional Seminar on ISPS Code Training and Maritime Security;
  • supported IMO projects:

1. GEF-UNDP-IMO Project on Removing the Capacity Barriers for Implementing Energy Measures for International Shipping

2. IMO-NORAD Cooperation Programme to assist East Asian countries in ratifying and implementing IMO instruments for the protection of the marine environment

  • hosted the IMO Regional Presence for Technical Cooperation in East Asia since 2003;
  • posted Maritime Attaché to the Philippine Embassy, London, UK;
    forged Memoranda of Understanding with 46 countries on Recognition of Certificates under Regulation I/10 and is now working on amending or updating the same;
  • been awarded certification by Bureau Veritas under ISO 9001 for the STCW Office of MARINA;
  • funded thirteen (13) students to attend the World Maritime University since 2014; and
  • graduated 133 individuals at the World Maritime University and 13 at the International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI).

An archipelagic country of more than 7,100 islands, the Philippines relies on maritime transport to connect its people and culture and to maintain linkages with its ASEAN neighbours and with the rest of the world. It has a merchant and fishing fleet of close to 20,000 ships, 53 government ports and over 200 private ports.


It has a growing shipbuilding sector with a capacity of close to a million GT and is the fourth largest shipbuilding nation. The Philippines has aligned the operations of its ports and shipping industry with internationally-recognized standards mandated by the IMO.


Philippine initiatives on Maritime Security and Marine Environment Protection


IMO-council_drillsThe Philippines has participated in regional cooperative agreements aimed at effectively carrying out the goals of the IMO, particularly in maritime security and marine environment protection. The Philippine government strongly supports the call of the IMO for urgent and greater anti-piracy coordination and cooperation procedures between and among states, regions, organizations, and industries.

In consistently advocating coordination between ship owners and Governments when attending to cases of ships that have been taken over by pirates, the Philippines provides continued support to families while seafarers are under the pirates’ control, including post-incident counselling or trauma management for seafarers and their families.

The Philippines has ratified the MARPOL Convention and four of its six Annexes and is an active participant in the ASEAN-OSRAP (ASEAN Oil Spill Response Action Plan), the Regional Programme for the Prevention and Management of Marine Pollution in the East Asian Seas, and the Sulawesi Sea Oil Spill Response Network.


Spotlight on the Filipino Seafarer


IMO-council_seafarersThe Philippines delivers the largest nationality of maritime crew serving the international merchant marine fleet. The Filipino seafarer’s skill and competence is trusted and highly valued.

The Filipino seafarers comprise close to a third of all seafarers onboard ships in the international trade. Also, Filipinos comprise the largest nationality of seafarers by rank (senior officers and junior officers) and by ratings, and across all departments (deck, engine, and catering) aboard merchant cargo vessels (bulk carriers, tankers, general cargo or container ships).

They are the seafarers of choice of international manning principals because they have recognized the outstanding qualities of the Filipino: technically competent, flexible, hard-working, reliable, trustworthy, fluent in the English language, and imbued with a deep sense of duty and loyalty. Dubbed the sailing ambassadors of the Philippines, its seafarers have demonstrated before the global maritime community the best traits of the Filipino.

In its effort to secure the quality and competence of its pool of seafarers, the Philippines is engaged in a comprehensive reform of its maritime education, training, and certification system.

Over seventy schools are eligible to offer officers programs for both deck and engine. The country also has over a hundred training centres with approved training programs compliant with the STCW Convention.

The Philippines’ deep understanding of the concerns and aspirations of seafarers enables it to play an important role in ensuring that their competencies and training remain relevant through the 2010 Manila Amendments to the STCW Convention and that their safety and welfare are protected through the 2006 Maritime Labour Convention.

With enhanced STCW implementation and a reservoir of qualified and competent maritime professionals, the Philippines will continue to man the world’s fleet and move the world’s commerce.


Leveraging its strengths—as the world’s number one source of maritime labour and the fourth largest shipbuilding nation—the Philippines seeks to become a prominent supplier of other shipping services and become one of the world’s go-to locations for shipping companies.



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Issue 6

16th Joint Committee on Maritime Affairs vows continued hiring of Filipino seafarers

Issue 6 Cover Photo

HEADS OF delegations of the 16th Philippines-Netherlands Joint Committee on Maritime Affairs sign anew their resolves on maintaining maritime cooperation between both nations. MARINA administrator Dr. Maximo Q Mejia Jr is seated with counterpart Director of Maritime Affairs Brigit Gijsbers of the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment of the Kingdom of the Netherlands this May 18th at the Hotel H2O in Manila, Philippines.

Story LeadThe Philippine delegation, composed mainly of members from the MARINA administration, presents ongoing undertakings on the following issues: the K-12 system; compliance and enforcement procedures related to maritime education and training institutions; the enhanced support level program, ESLP, which is scheduled for implementation this school year; transfer of functions from the Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC) to MARINA; the International Maritime Organization’s coordinated task force on technical assistance to the Philippines with the involvement of member nations Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Norway; the issuance and verification of certificates of proficiency (COPs) and competency (COCs); and the updating of maritime courses for compliance to the 2010 Manila Amendment on Standards Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers.

Ms. Gijsbers appreciates the clear explanation on the aforementioned items. MARINA administrator Dr. Maximo Q Mejia Jr meanwhile mentions that additional capacity building measures are being studied with Canada about e-learning or distance learning for seafarers, with the United Kingdom in areas related to inspection and with Finland regarding training on the administration of standards training, certification and watchkeeping for seafarers. Mejia also specifies briefly the possibility of sending MARINA personnel to the Netherlands to learn of best practices in yet other aspects of maritime affairs.

Already, since the compliance requirement to the 2010 Manila Amendment, MARINA has set forth nine policies on the issuance of certificates where certificates of proficiency (COPs) issued has numbered almost two million. Also, a real-time certificate verification system for COC or COP, radio personnel (GMDSS), and marine deck officers and engineers are available at the STCWO website (

The Philippine delegation is headed by MARINA administrator Dr. Maximo Q Mejia Jr with representatives from MARINA, the Commission on Higher Education, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, the Philippine Ports Auhority, the Philippine Coast Guard, the Bureaus of Customs and of Immigration, the National Economic Development Authority, the Palompon Institute of Technology, the Departments of Foreign Affairs, of Transportation and Communications, of Education, of Health and the stakeholders.

On the other hand, members of the delegation from the Netherlands is composed of: Ringo Lakeman from the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment; Tineke Netelenbos and Tjitso Westra from the Royal Association of Netherlands Shipowners; Jan Willem Verhoeff and Albert Bos from the ScheepvartEn Transport College; and Netherlands Ambassadeur Marion Derckx with PLV Ambassadeur Ruth Emmerink and Patricia Alvenida.



More stories:
Shipyards formalize national association
Mejia leads oath-taking rites for first batch of passers of new computer-based exams
News of storm causes traffic queue in Matnog
Figures that matter


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Issue 4

One-day IMO Conference ups PH resolve on safety of domestic ships operations
Manila Statement discusses enhancement of safety of ships carrying passengers on non-international voyages

FERRY PASSENGERS disembark ship that sailed from Aklan to the Port of Batangas.

FERRY PASSENGERS disembark ship that sailed from Aklan to the Port of Batangas.

Issue 4 LeadIMO’s continuous efforts and careful attention to improve the safety of sea and inland waters transport operations is part of its technical aid. The conference consists of a series of presentations from expert presentors and discussions with participants who shared knowledge and views on important issues affecting maritime industries.

The Manila Statement notes with great concern the unacceptable loss of lives and damage to environment and properties brought about by marine casualties and incidents involving domestic ferries. Though integral to national transport systems and usually the most affordable means of travel for the public and for transport of goods, domestic ferry operations is crucial for local economies. The statement is also conscious that operations of domestic ferries have environmental implications and that in some cases take place in environmentally sensitive areas.

Marine casualties and incidents can be avoided if adequate laws, regulations and rules are thoroughly developed, effectively implemented with a rigorous compliance oversight mechanism and vigorously enforced on a non-discriminatory manner and without interference.

Meanwhile, such laws, regulations and rules can only be:
(a) adequate if they address all foreseeable risks and include issues relating to the safety management and operation of such ships, including the education, training and proficiency of the shipboard personnel; and
(b) adequately implemented and enforced if the officials involved as surveyors and inspectors of ships, as auditors of safety management systems and as examiners for shipboard personnel and classification societies and organizations which governments authorize to survey, audit and certify for the compliance of domestic ferries and their employees have the required competencies.

The statement also recognizes the significant roles of:
(a) ship-to-shore and shore-to-ship radio communication services, the promulgation of weather forecasts and of the aids to navigation, including navigational charts, sailing directions and notices to mariners, in preventing marine casualties and incidents; and
(b) the search and rescue and emergency response services in mitigating the consequences of marine casualties.

The clauses recognized above strengthen the import of producing or providing reports of all marine casualties and incidents involving domestic ferries to marine safety investigation authorities; conducting marine safety investigation by skilled and competent investigators; identifying and publishing causal factors in marine safety investigation reports and the prompt and appropriate response and actions to identified causal factors.

Further, the statement recognizes that safety of domestic ferries is a shared responsibility between and among governments, local authorities, ship owners, ship managers, ship operators, shipboard personnel, maritime education and training institutions, classification societies and organizations which governments authorize to survey and certify for compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and rules; insurance providers, port authorities, port terminal owners and operators, and the public and civil society as users of the services provided.

Other prominent points requiring urgent attention included in the Manila Statement deal with tools in identification of hazards in fact finding and scoping study; setting of navigation areas for ASEAN countries; improvement and harmonization of safety standards under the ASEAN-Japan partnership project; guidelines for the purchase of second-hand ships, ships subject to change of route or area of operation, and ships subject to modification or conversion; and guidelines for the counting of persons on board, voyage planning, and enforcement activities undertaking by maritime administrations.

The intensive one-day conference is attended by delegations from Australia, Cambodia, Canada, China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Norway, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, and the Republic of Korea. Also present are non-government observers from the International Chamber of Shipping, International Asoociation of Classification Societies, Interferry, the Worldwide Ferry Safety Association; observers from higher education institutions, World Maritime Universtity and University of Strathclyde (UK); and an obserserver from the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, an inter- governmental organization.


Other stories:
IMO Sec-Gen Koji Sekimizu is conferred the Order of Sikatuna
What is the Order of Sikatuna?
CSC 2nd career service prof and sub-prof written exams slated Oct. 18
House delegation promotes PH role in global maritime affairs in Washington
Fellowship dinner follows IMO conference


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Issue 1

Through continuous monitoring and supervision
STCWO steps up to strengthen Filipino seafarers’ competency level in skills, learning and proficiency

TWENTY-TWO PARTICIPANTS, all dedicated and qualified assessors from both MARINA and CHED, intently listen to Dr. Manuel’s lecture during the week-long Professional Development Course on Assessment, Examination, and Certification of Seafarers for Assessors, Examiners, and Administrators at the H2O Hotel and Convention Hall in Manila, March 9-13, 2015.
TWENTY-TWO PARTICIPANTS, all dedicated and qualified assessors from both MARINA and CHED, intently listen to Dr. Manuel’s lecture during the week-long Professional Development Course on Assessment, Examination, and Certification of Seafarers for Assessors, Examiners, and Administrators at the H2O Hotel and Convention Hall in Manila, March 9-13, 2015.

A FIVE-DAY course designed to give participants the knowledge and skills for the assessment, examination, and certification of masters, officers, and ratings on board the world’s merchant fleet is titled Professional Development Course on Assessment, Examination, and Certification of Seafarers for Assessors, Examiners, & Administrators.

The course included to define specifics on the supervising and monitoring of Filipino seafarer’s competency level, as part of MARINA-STCWO’s function to issue, validate, verify, correct, revoke or cancel certificates of competency, endorse or cancel certificates of competency, proficiency, endorsement and documentary evidence that is required of all seafarers as provided in the STCW Convention 1978, as amended. Given to qualified assessors of both MARINA and CHED, the course training is part of the structural development the maritime agency continues to undergo since the enactment of Republic Act No. 10635, a law that establishes MARINA as a single maritime administration and enforcement agency of international convention on standards of training, certification and watchkeeping for seafarers.

Aimed to provide knowledge and skills for trainees to administer, supervise and monitor training and assessment of seafarer competence, the course is based on the requirements of STCW Regulation 1/6 and STCW Code A-I/6 — Training and assessment and with a consideration of the contents of IMO Model Course 3.12 — Assessment, examination and certification of seafarers. e course covers: overview of the development of the STCW Convention; structure and requirements of the STCW Convention and Code; process overview; review of international obligations; authority and organization for assessment, examination and certification of seafarers; quality systems; certificate requirements; approving training, assessment and records; oral and practical tests; shipboard assessment; the assessment process; developing performance improvement plan; maintenance of standards; administration; and requirements for high-speed crafts.

MARINA Administrator Maximo Q. Mejia Jr. is confident that maritime administrations and industry stakeholders around the world can be assured that Filipino seafarers’ competencies in skills, learning, and performance are according to international standards. With a “maritime industry that moves the world,” MARINA’s continuing upgrades in this industry will signi cantly raise its reputation as a premier maritime administration in this part of the world.

Sponsored by MARINA’s STCWO (Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers Office), the training takes place at the H2O Hotel and convention hall and concludes March 13.



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