Marina launches domestic ship modernization drive

MANILA The Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) has launched an information campaign on its domestic ship modernization program, which aims to ensure safe and efficient sea vessels traveling across the country.

In a statement Friday, Marina said it has oriented 80 motorbanca owners and operators from Region 4 on the importance of upgrading wooden-hulled motor bancas into either steel, aluminum, or fiberglass during a workshop with the Department of Finance (DOF) and the Development Bank of the Philippines Leasing Corporation (DLC) in Batangas City from September 3 to 5.

"Safety of life at sea is primordial to Marina and ship modernization is a step towards attaining this objective," Marina Domestic Shipping Service Director Sonia Malaluan said.

Motorbanca owners may avail of financial assistance through the Municipal Assistance Fund of the DOF's Municipal Development Fund Office to upgrade wooden sea vessels into fiber reinforced plastic boats.

Marina will also provide incentives, capability, and capacity-building in establishing cooperatives that can offer further financial support during the implementation of the program.

The agency will continue to hold workshops in different provinces across the country to clarify issues of coverage, exemptions and transitions under the program.

The upgrading of motorbancas is part of Marina's 10-year Maritime Industry Development Program, which also involves the modernization of domestic ships through the strengthening of the capability of local shipyards and promoting the development of locally-made ships. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency