The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), in coordination with the International Maritime Organization (IMO), hosted the National Workshop on MARPOL Annex V and Port Reception Facilities on 23 to 25 October 2019 at the MARINA Central Office to prepare the Philippines in the effective implementation of MARPOL Annex V or the Regulations for the Prevention of Pollution by Garbage from Ships, as amended.

Commencing the event, MARINA Officer-In-Charge, Administrator VADM Narciso A Vingson Jr expressed the commitment of the maritime administration to further strengthen the protection of the marine environment from harmful effects of irresponsible waste and garbage disposal through awareness and capacity-building. VADM Vingson likewise emphasized the need for coordinative efforts among the port authorities, environmental authorities and reception facility providers to minimize ship sourced pollution and not to further contribute to land-based pollution, which comprises 80% of wastes.

Atty. Josephine Uranza, International Maritime Organization (IMO) Regional Coordinator and Presence in East Asia, informed the participants on the main objectives of the Workshop as she delivered her opening message.

“This workshop seeks to raise awareness of the participants on various issues associated with ship sourced marine litter. It is also intended to familiarize participants with the international regulatory requirements related to MARPOL Annex V, port reception facilities and waste management. Likewise, it aims to provide the best practices for port reception facilities. Lastly, to enhance the knowledge and capacity of maritime management officials for the effective implementation and enforcement of MARPOL Annex V and port reception facilities,” Atty. Uranza said.

IMO expert, Mr. Peter Van den Dries, discussed the sources and impact of marine litter and its international policy response and examples of preventive and remedial measures. He likewise provided presentations about port reception facilities, waste management practices at commercial, fishing and recreational ports, and incentive-based systems for ship-generated waste.

Mr. Mark Lim Yew Guan and Mr. Kelton Lim, IMO experts from the Maritime Port Authority (MPA) of Singapore, talked about MARPOL in general, revised MARPOL Annex V and its recent developments, port state control in general and port state control on MARPOL Annex V.

The discussions continued with the country presentations on the implementation and enforcement of MARPOL Annex V and port reception facilities in the country.

Mr. Arnold Villegas from the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) talked about PPA’s landmark events in relation to MARPOL 73/78. Representative from the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Mr. Gerald Cordero, reported on the role and initiatives of PCG towards prevention of pollution from garbage.

Meanwhile, participants and guests had an overview on the system of handling garbage and available reception facilities in the country through an on-site visit at the South Harbor, Port Area, Manila.

The workshop was concluded with an interactive discussions and adoption of the resolutions of the Workshop.

The National Workshop was attended by the IMO Regional Consultant on MEPSEAS Project and representatives from the Department of Transportation (DOTr), PCG, PPA, MARINA, Cebu Port Authority (CPA), Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), Department of Environment and Natural Resources –Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB), University of the Philippines – Institute of Environment Science and Meteorology (UP-IESM), MARINO Party List and Asian Terminal Incorporated (ATI). The discussion among regulators, policy makers from the maritime administration, port authorities, environmental management authorities and port reception facility providers is one among the efforts of ensuring the protection of the rich marine biodiversity in the Philippines.