President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has signed an executive order (EO) adopting an “integrated approach” in the ratification and accession to international maritime organization conventions and instruments.
Signed by Duterte last December 28 and released to reporters on Thursday, EO 159 has also reconstituted and renamed the Inter-Agency Coordinating Committee on the Ratification and Implementation of Maritime Conventions (ICCRIMC) to the Inter-Agency Coordinating Committee to Facilitate the Ratification and Accession to and Implementation of Maritime Conventions (ICCFRAIMC).
The ICCRIMC was created in 2015 under the Department of Transportation and Communications and now the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to monitor developments and consider new international maritime conventions for ratification, including measures needed to satisfy their respective requirements, through research, monitoring and coordination with other government agencies.
In signing the EO 159, Duterte recognized that “the State is committed to remain at the forefront of international maritime developments, and identify ways to improve its maritime sector, by integrating and empowering its Maritime Administration to study new maritime conventions and instruments for ratification, determine the responsibilities required thereby, and conduct a national interest analysis to ascertain their benefits to the country.”
“The country strives to become a major maritime nation that gives premium to the protection of life and marine environment, enhancement of the level of safety of shipping, and advancement of the standards of training, certification and watchkeeping for seafarers,” the EO read.
Under the new EO, ICCFRAIMC will be chaired by a representative from the DOTr while a representative from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) will serve as vice chair.
Members will be composed of representatives from the following departments and agencies: Department of Science and Technology; Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA); Philippine Coast Guard; Philippine Ports Authority; Cebu Port Authority; Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources; Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) – Environmental Management Bureau; DENR- Biodiversity Management Bureau; University of the Philippines (UP) – Marine Science Institute; and UP – Institute of Environmental Science and Meteorology.
The new committee will be tasked to consider new international maritime conventions for possible ratification or accession, conduct a national interest analysis for the purpose, and study measures needed to satisfy convention requirements, as well as the implications on the established maritime operations in the country.
It will also be in charge of developing and adopting a National Work Programme (NWP) to chart timelines and determine frequency of meetings, assign agency roles and responsibilities, and ensure the eventual implementation and enforcement of adopted instruments, consistent with the country’s overall maritime strategy.
The committee will also review and endorse proposed legislation, national policies and administrative regulations, to support the implementation of adopted instruments among other functions.
For each international maritime instrument or group of instruments under study or process, the committee may create a Technical Working Group (TWG) composed mainly of representatives from the members of the ICCFRAIMC, and designate a lead agency.
The funding requirements for the participation and implementation of relevant activities will be charged against existing appropriations of the members of the committee, subject to the availability thereof, and existing budgeting, accounting and auditing rules and regulations while funding requirements for subsequent years will be incorporated in the annual budget proposals of the members of Committee, subject to the usual budget process.
The Philippines, as a member of the International Maritime Organization since 1964, has ratified several international conventions which aims to promote the safety of Filipino seafarers, protect the marine environment from the operation of ships, and raise the standards of certification to increase the competency of Filipino seafarers, among others.
Source: Philippines News Agency