MARINA Welcomes PH Inclusion in ILO’s List of Members with “clear, complete, well-documented” processing issuance of SIDs

The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) welcomed the Philippine inclusion in the list of Member States of the International Labor Organization (ILO) that have “clear, complete and well-documented” processing for the issuance of Seafarer Identification Document (SID) pursuant to Convention No. 185 otherwise known as the Seafarers’ Identity Documents Convention (Revised), 2003, as amended.

The Philippines now becomes one of the first few countries to be included in the ILO’s list of Member States that have fully met the minimum requirements concerning processes and procedures for the issuance of Seafarers’ Identity Documents (SIDs).

As the government agency responsible to give full and complete effect on the Convention, the MARINA views this positive development as a significant step towards providing better security for Filipino seafarers while transiting either to onsign or offsign their ships or while they are on shore leave in various ports of the world.

MARINA Administrator Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad said that the Agency remains committed in ensuring that Filipino seafarers are afforded the required security of their persons whenever they leave the Philippines to work on-board various ocean-going ships.

Application and payment for the issuance of SIDs are processed online and this facility is available in all MARINA offices nationwide. Since this is a security document, applicants need to personally appear to the MARINA for photo and biometrics capture.

“Noting the positive conclusions of the independent evaluation report submitted by the Philippines in accordance with Article 5, paragraph 4, of Convention No. 185 of the Offices’ assessment and the report from the Review Group established under arrangements adopted in accordance with Article 5, paragraph 6, of the Convention, the Governing Body approved the inclusion of the Philippines as the first ratifying Member to be listed as fully meeting the minimum requirements referred to in Article 5, paragraph 1, of the Convention, as amended in 2016,” said in a draft decision.

According to Catherine Rodolphe-Mérot (France), Chairperson of the Review Group, after the Philippines underwent the process, the elements submitted to them by the country were “clear, complete, and well-documented.”

The process started through a formal request, with required comprehensive documentation of the country to be included on the list. To enter the list, the ratifying Members must provide the ILO with a statement in an electronic form outlining the national processes and procedures for issuing SIDs.

Aside from this, members must also submit a copy of the report on their first independent evaluation carried out under paragraph 4 of Article 5 of the Seafarers’ Identity Documents Convention (Revised) 2003 and a specimen of the SID issued by them.

Once submitted, the case is forwarded to the Review Group composed of four (4) members appointed by the ILO. These members will be composed of two individuals from ratifying countries, one will be nominated from the international organization of shipowners, and one from the international organization of seafarers.

The SID is a maritime security document developed by the ILO as a response to the increased need for security at seaports as a consequence to series of terrorist attacks that ensued following the 9/11 incident on the United States of America and elsewhere in the world.

Together with the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS), the SID is meant to address and resolve the continuing threat to the security of ships, passengers, and crew. The SID also serves as identifiable verification for seafarers while on shore leave and while they are transiting from one port to another for purposes of embarkation, disembarkation, and medical repatriation.