The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) and the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SONAME) have agreed recently to strengthen their partnership by providing capacity measures to MARINA technical personnel, particularly in the area of shipbuilding, boat building, ship recycling as well as in ship audits.

At present, the MARINA has in its roster 45 registered naval architects nationwide. They have played important role in the formulation of technical standards for ship building, ship repair and ship recycling which are now being adopted by the agency.

To ensure safety of navigation in domestic shipping, the MARINA relies heavily on the technical expertise of its naval architects in coming up with boat and shipbuilding designs appropriate to the unique behaviors of Philippine waters.

As an important partner, the SONAME, which sits a regular member of the MARINA Board, has been collaborating with MARINA in providing capacity building activities for its naval architects as well as other engineers involved in the regulation of the country’s ship building, ship repair, ship recycling industry.

MARINA Administrator VADM Robert A Empedrad also acknowledges the important role that the SONAME has been playing in the country’s effort to modernize its domestic shipping fleet. On the occasion of its General Assembly in 2020, the SONAME conferred upon the MARINA Administrator Honorary Membership to the Society.

“Modernization of the country’s domestic shipping starts from ensuring that local shipyards meet the demands for ship construction at affordable cost to investors and provide an option for domestic ship owners to avoid purchasing second-hand imported ships to enter the local market”, said Administrator Empedrad.

As part of the implementation arrangement of the 10 Year Maritime Industry Development Program, the MARINA is currently on talks with the team of MARINO Partylist Sando L Gonzalez for a legislative measure intended to revive incentives for domestic shipping and shipbuilding and ship repair under Republic Act No. 9295, otherwise known as the “Domestic Shipping Modernization Act of 2004 that expired in 2014.