To ensure the effective implementation of the Ballast Water Management (BWM) and Anti-Fouling Systems (AFS) Conventions, the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) held the National Legal, Policy and Institutional Reforms (LPIR) Training focused on Implementation (Train-Implement Course) on 07 to 11 October 2019 at the MARINA Central Office.

Gracing the opening ceremony, MARINA Officer-in-Charge VADM Narciso A Vingson Jr expressed the strong commitment of the country to effectively implement policy and institutional processes under the Marine Environment Protection of the South-East Asian Seas (MEPSEAS) Project.

“This project is a clear demonstration of the continued commitment of the ASEAN countries to move towards a sustainable maritime transport system, and to address significant marine environmental issues through the effective and full implementation of marine environment protection conventions in the South East Asian Region, particularly in beneficiary countries such as the Philippines,” VADM Vingson said.

Atty. Brenda V. Pimentel, MEPSEAS Regional Consultant, provided a background of the MEPSEAS Project and Training Course. Ms. Criselda Castor of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Biodiversity Management Bureau (DENR – BMB) gave a presentation on invasive alien species as a major concern in the Philippines. Dr. Benjamin Vallejo Jr. of the University of the Philippines – Institute of Environmental Science and Meteorology (UP – IESM) provided an update on the studies of invasive species in the Port of Manila while Engr. Joshua Rafale Tolin of the MARINA – Shipyards Regulation Service (MARINA – SRS) reported on the current initiatives in drafting of legislation for BWM and AFS Conventions in the country.

After the country presentations, Engr. Jose Romualdo Denzon, National Training Expert, presented an Introduction to the BWM Convention which was followed by the presentation from Ms. Ernesta Swanepoel, International Maritime Organization (IMO) International Course Developer (ICD), on the BWM Convention and Guidelines.

The Training continued with the discussion of the other international conventions and principles relevant to BWM, introduction to AFS Convention and key factors on implementing BWM and AFS Conventions led by Ms. Swanepoel and Mr. Guillaume Drillet, IMO ICD.

Engr. Roland Kenneth Ballesteros of the MARINA – SRS discussed on the current draft Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) on BWM Convention while Atty. Maximo Bañares, Director of the MARINA – Domestic Shipping Service (MARINA-DSS), presented on the guide to drafting a BWM Act.

A workshop was then facilitated by the ICDs on the third and fourth day of the Course to refine the existing draft legislation for BWM and AFS Conventions based on the template developed for the MEPSEAS Project.

The Train-Implement Course concluded with the presentation of Mr. Drillet on Ballast Water Sampling and Testing Protocols and Technologies for Ballast Water Treatment.
Meanwhile, a Consultative Meeting with Mr. Drillet was conducted to discuss issues on how to implement the BWM Convention in the Philippines. The said meeting was attended by representatives from the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), Cebu Port Authority (CPA), and MARINA.

The Train-Implement Course is an essential component of the National Strategic Action Plan which aims to identify the critical milestones along the reform path and implementation needs in transposing the Conventions into a national legislation.