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
The 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
The 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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