MANILA – President Rodrigo Roa Duterte recently signed Executive Order No. 84 institutionalizing the Inter-agency Council on the IMO Member State Audit Scheme (IMSAS).

This milestone further strengthens the Philippine maritime administration’s performance of its obligations and commitments as a Member State to the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

The IMSAS Council is composed of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary as Chairperson and Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) Administrator as Vice-Chairperson. Representatives from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), and Cebu Port Authority (CPA) act as members.

EO 84 serves as the legal framework of the IMSAS Council to fulfill its functions relative to the adoption of the provisions of applicable international instruments and conventions, as well as mechanisms to certify that the Philippines fully satisfies its responsibilities as a flag, port, and coastal State. Above all, the IMSAS Council shall ensure that its member agencies fully and effectively implement and enforce the IMO Instruments in an integrated manner.

Moreover, the Council is assisted by a Technical Working Group (TWG) responsible for providing support on specific matters concerning the IMSAS. The group consists of representatives from the DOTr, MARINA, DFA, PCG, PPA, CPA, Commission on Higher Education (CHED), National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA), Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), Office for Transportation Security (OTS), and Philippine National Police (PNP) Maritime Group.

Meanwhile, as part of its preparation for the IMSAS in 2021, the Council convened on 13 June 2019 to discuss the draft Philippine IMO Strategy which contains the measures that the country will adopt to fully comply with its obligations and commitments as a responsible IMO member state.

The IMSAS seeks to assess the level of implementation and enforcement of the provisions of mandatory IMO instruments pertaining to safety of life at sea, prevention of pollution from ships, standards of training, certification, and watchkeeping for seafarers, load lines, tonnage, as well as regulations for preventing collisions at sea.