MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), in coordination with the International Maritime Organization (IMO), will host the National Legal, Policy and Institutional Reforms (LPIR) Training focused on Implementation (Train-Implement) Course, which will be held on 07 to 11 October 2019 at the MARINA Central Office.

This training seeks to ensure the effective implementation of the Ballast Water Management (BWM) and Anti-Fouling Systems (AFS) Conventions.

It can be recalled that during Second High-Level Regional Meeting on the Marine Environment Protection in the South East Asian Seas (MEPSEAS) on 27 to 29 August 2019, high-level decision makers of participating countries in the region discussed the status in implementing the project activities in their respective National Action Plans for the MEPSEAS Project. The countries likewise emphasized the challenges in completing the activities related to their identified marine environmental related Conventions. A common difficulty expressed by the countries is the translation of the ratified Conventions into national legislation.

However, to respond to this difficulty, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB), in cooperation with the MARINA, hosted a Seminar-Workshop on the BWM Convention last 18 to 20 September 2019 to provide the participants with better understanding of the general and technical provisions of the said Convention. This Seminar Workshop likewise afforded the forum to discuss the delineation of their roles and responsibilities in implementing the Convention.

To further express the country’s initiative in manifesting its serious commitment to fully and effectively implement the BWM and AFS Conventions, the Train-Implement Course will be conducted as an essential component of the National Strategic Action Plan. The said capacity building aims to identify the critical milestones along the reform path and implementation needs specially in transposing the Conventions into a national legislation, which is another expected outcome of the MEPSEAS Project.

The IMO International Course Developers (ICDs), National Consultants and National Training Experts are expected to present the overview, guidelines, other international conventions and principles relevant to BWM and AFS Conventions. They will likewise share the key factors on implementing the said Conventions, the guide in drafting the BWM Act, Ballast Water Sampling, testing protocols and technologies for Ballast Water Treatment.

Through the said training, representatives from the Philippine maritime administration are expected to gain understanding on the provisions of the BWM and AFS Conventions, identify their roles and responsibilities in the implementation of the aforesaid Conventions, and to refine existing draft legislations for the said Conventions. The program design will enable representatives from different maritime agencies to report the impact of aquatic invasive species on the marine environment and the current status of the implementation of the BWM and AFS Conventions in the country.

The Train-Implement Course under the MEPSEAS Project will be attended by representatives from the Department of Transportation (DOTr), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), Subic Bay Development Authority (SBMA), Cebu Port Authority (CPA), Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Environment Management Bureau (DENR – EMB), DENR – Biodiversity Management Bureau (DENR – BMB), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development, Office of the President (OP) – Presidential Legislative Liaison Office, House of Representatives – Bill Drafting Service, University of the Philippines – Marine Science Institute (UP – MSI), Philippine Merchant Marine Academy (PMMA), Philippine Liner Shipping Association (PLSA), and Philippine Petroleum Sea Transport Association (PHILPESTA). The IMO Regional Coordinator for East Asia which assists the Philippines and other developing countries in East Asia in its capacity building needs is likewise expected to attend the Seminar Workshop.