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Deal ensuring domestic ferry safety inked



The Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) has sealed a deal with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the World Bank Group, along with project leaders and sponsors to ensure domestic passenger ship safety and energy efficiency in the country,

In a statement, Marina said the deal aims to enhance domestic ferry safety by targeting all components of the safety system and the whole feasible spectrum of Risk Control Options while incorporating the energy efficiency aspect to identify the most practical and cost-effective options that would reduce the carbon footprint of the domestic shipping sector.

“The Philippines is privileged to have been selected as a beneficiary of this study. With the maritime transport landscape continuously evolving, the implementation of the ‘Study on the Safety and Energy Efficiency of Domestic Passenger Ships in the Philippines’ is timely and relevant,” said Engr. Ramon Hernandez, Director of the Shipyards Regulation Service and the national focal person for the implementation of the project in his opening remarks at the virtual inception workshop.

Further, he said the Philippines, with the Marina’s lead, (aims) to strengthen (its) efforts to enhance ferry safety in the Philippines while treating the safety of life at sea and environmental considerations with utmost priority.

Reducing maritime casualties
Marina Deputy Administrator for Operations, Engr. Nannette Dinopol, on behalf of the Marina and the project’s implementing agencies the Philippine Coast Guard and the Philippine Ports Authority, assured the international bodies and the industry stakeholders that the Marina commits itself to the study.

“We will instill and sustain a culture of safety in the Philippine domestic shipping sector, to ensure that maritime casualty in the Philippines in the coming years is significantly reduced,” Dinopol noted, guaranteeing that Marina will prioritize the protection of the marine environment in domestic shipping activities, as the Philippines is an “environmentally aware nation.”

The Marina has issued policies intended to address the environmental harm caused by the shipping industry.

The latest and among the most critical is Memorandum Circular SR-2020-06 which mandates Philippine-registered ships plying domestic routes to comply with the Global Sulphur Cap, also known as “IMO 2020.’ This regulation requires ships to use fuels with only 0.5 percent m/m Sulphur content.