MARINA extends assistance to motorboat operators for modernization program in Cebu


CEBU CITY, PHILIPPINES – To raise awareness on the importance of safety in passenger motorboats by pushing for a program that promotes safer lives and ships, the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), through its Franchising Service (FS), conducted the fifth leg of the Institutional Support Mechanism Workshop on the Modernization of Passenger Ships in Cebu City on 30 January 2020.

The workshop, which was prepared jointly with MARINA Regional Office (MRO) VII, revolved around orienting various motorboat operators plying Cebu routes as to how the Philippine government could extend help in modernizing their fleet – both in technical and financial aspects.

The initiative of the MARINA, under the MARINA Circular (MC) No. 2016-02, aims to implement a gradual phase-out on wooden-hulled boats to replace them with boats whose hulls are made of durable materials such as fiberglass, steel, and aluminum among many other technologically-improved hull materials.

During the opening remarks, MARINA Deputy Administrator for Operations Engr. Nannette Villamor-Dinopol expressed the Agency’s efforts in lending its helping hands with the cooperation of partners from different government agencies, as well as the private sectors.

“We understand your plea about how difficult this journey will be. But rest assured that MARINA is, and will be listening to your concerns, no matter how big or small. In turn, we hope that you will also hear us out. Share with us this vision by supporting DOTr in this program. Instill in your hearts and minds that maritime safety is non-negotiable and that no amount of money can ever equate a person’s life,” Engr. Villamor-Dinopol delivered.

Various reputable boatbuilding and shipbuilding companies also joined the event to explore collaborative opportunities. Issues and concerns of motorboat operators in Region 7 routes were tackled.

Through technical support mechanism, MARINA – Shipyards Regulation Service (SRS) Director Engr. Ramon Hernandez presented to the maritime stakeholders the role of MARINA in the modernization program, as well as maritime safety plan that focuses on safer people, safer ships and cleaner environment. Figures and statistics regarding the Philippine domestic ships were also discussed.

Further, technical experts from MARINA – Maritime Safety Service (MSS), Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers of the Philippines Inc. (SONAME), Cebu Ports Authority (CPA), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), and Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Region 7 (PCG) shared their expertise with regards to their respective roles in the maritime sector.

In terms of innovative financing mechanism, representatives from the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP), Office of Transportation Cooperatives (OTC) and Board of Investments (BOI) introduced systems and schemes that they could avail to fund their modernization plans.

Finally, MARINA is continuing to appeal to all the stakeholders to unite with the government in this endeavor for all the improvement of the Philippine maritime industry.