CAVITE CITY — From almost two years, it will now take yacht owners just five days to have their vessels properly registered with the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA).

This was the assurance given to yacht builders and owners by Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade on Sunday, 8 December 2019, during the launch of the Cavite-Manila Ferry Service at the Cavite City Port Terminal, where he also announced the creation of a Registry of Recreational Boats under the MARINA.

The registration of recreational vessels, such as yachts, is mandated under MARINA Circular Number DS-2019-01 issued on 23 May 2019. The MARINA circular defines recreational boats as vessels of up to 150.9 feet or 46 meters or less, with a capacity of up to 10 tons of cargo.

MARINA defines recreational vessels as being used exclusively for recreational or tourism development purposes, either commercially or privately. This defines the difference of recreational vessels from other types of smaller vessels, such as ferry boats.

“For the first time in the history of the country, we have codified what we call the Recreational and Leisure Maritime Vessels Code, na kung saan ‘yung mga yate na nakikita ninyo na pumapalaot at tumatakbo ay nagkaroon na po ng codification,” Secretary Tugade announced.

Secretary Tugade said the process of creating a recreational boat registry started shortly after he assumed office, when yacht builders raised the issue of the slow process of vessel registration.
“Ang unang reklamo nila — they can make a yacht in less than 30 days. Pero para makuha ang lisensya, umaabot nang isang taon,” the transportation chief explained.

“Sabi natin, baguhin natin ‘yan. Kaya ‘yan, i-kinodify namin at ni-refine ang process na kung saan ‘yung mga licensing ngayon ay mapapabilis na. Now, it will just take five days. From almost two years to five days,” he added.

Aside from ensuring that recreational vessels are properly registered with the MARINA, Secretary Tugade noted that the registry will also serve to develop marina- and cruise-related projects in the country.

The transportation chief himself has identified Cebu, Davao, Panglao in Bohol, and Palawan as viable sites for such projects. Yachts and other recreational vessels can anchor at these possible marinas, and even secure registration there.

Secretary Tugade added that with the creation of a Registry of Recreational Boats under MARINA, the recreational boat-building industry in the country is poised for further development.

“Pahahalagahan natin ang industriya na ‘yan, from manufacturing to operation to management. Dalawa lang ‘ho ang gagabayan natin: the issue of security and the issue of trust. Once that is done by us, then it will be easy,” the Secretary said.

(courtesy of Department of Transportation – Philippines)