MANILA, PHILIPPINES – In a move to further enhance the delivery of its frontline services and to promote the ease of doing business, the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) has commenced the preparation of a 4-year roadmap for its information technology, which aims to modernize its information technology equipment and facilities, integrate existing and develop new information systems, as well as automate its processes nationwide.

The roadmap covers the period of 2021 to 2024, and it directly supports the implementation of the 10-Year Maritime Industry Development Plan (MIDP), particularly Program 8, which covers the Establishment of Maritime Knowledge and Innovation Center (MKIC).

In a virtual workshop organized to review and update its Information Systems Strategic Plan (ISSP) recently, it has been revealed that more than 300 desktop computers currently in use have been acquired more than 6 years ago, and the internet connectivity in most of MARINA Regional Offices has relatively low bandwidth. At this event, Ms. Ludivina B. Genio, Information Technology Officer I, and Engr Christopher F. Mediavillo, Information Systems Analyst I, of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) provided a comprehensive background on how funding for information technology and communications facilities, systems development acquisition/maintenance is undertaken in government.

MARINA Administrator VADM Robert A Empedrad AFP (Ret) said that the first step towards implementing digital connectivity of all MARINA offices requires the modernization of its basic office equipment such as computers, laptops and printers. It also demands the need to increase the speed of internet connection for inter and intra office interface to ensure seamless, safe and secure digital transactions of stakeholders with the Agency.

“The MARINA will tap its available funds currently under the safekeeping of the Philippine International Trading Corporation (PITC) for this purpose as a way forward, at least for this year” Administrator Empedrad further said.

In the area of digital transaction, systems development and deployment, the MARINA will roll-out the following initiatives in 2021:

1. E-payment System through the LinkBiz portal of the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) for all MARINA transactions other than those involving the issuance of Certificates of Endorsement (COE), Certificates of Proficiency (COP), Seafarer Record Book (SRB) and the Seafarer Identity Document (SID);

2. Phase I of the Integrated Domestic Shipping Information System (IDSIS-1), an online facility that allows the filing, evaluation, payment and processing of domestic shipping related applications such as the following: accreditation of shipowners/operators; vessel name clearance; ship acquisition; vessel plans approval; ship construction certificate; tonnage measurement certificate; issuance of certificate of ownership/ certificate of Philippine Registry; and issuance of coastwise license; bay and river license; and pleasure yacht license;

3. Online Health Monitoring for Seafarers, Stakeholders and Visitors transacting business with the Agency. The system requires clients to scan a quick response (QR) code through their mobile phones before entering MARINA premises nationwide. This is being implemented as a measure to facilitate contact tracing of individuals who may be falling ill with the present virus;

4. Centralized Portal for Online Help Desk for MARINA stakeholders who may have concerns with the Agency. The system allows the automatic generation of a ticket reference number for issues submitted at the portal and a copy in pdf format reflecting the concern, and sending to the registered email of the concerned individual. This is intended to facilitate resolutions of issues or complaints submitted;

5. Human Resources Management Information System (HRMIS), which is an online tool used to manage records of MARINA employees, as well as to posthuman resources related transactions such as leave and payroll. This system will be made available for all MARINA Offices nationwide, and;

6. Municipal Fishing Vessel Information System (MFVIS), a system developed intended to assist various local government units and relevant government agencies mandated to regulate the registration of small boats below 3 gross tonnage as a way to enhance the administration and implementation of maritime safety in coastal areas in the country.

The MARINA is currently undertaking the development of the following systems:

1. MARINA E-Library System, which will serve as a portal for the repository of maritime-related publications produced by the MARINA and the private sector for academic researches, policy development, project management, among others;

2. Phase II of the Integrated Domestic Shipping Information System (IDSIS-2), which is the continuation of IDSIS-1 that allows the online filing, evaluation and payment, remote encoding of ship inspection data and subsequent issuance of the different ship safety inspection certificates such as the following: Passenger Ship Safety Certificate (PSSC), Cargo Ship Safety Certificate (CSSC), Cargo Ship Safety Construction Certificate (CSSCC), Cargo Ship Safety Equipment Certificate (CSSEC), Fishing Vessel Ship Safety Certificate (FVSC), Exemption Certificate (EC), Certificate of Fitness for the Carriage of Liquefied Gases in Bulk (CFCLG), and High-Speed Craft Safety Certificate (HSCSC), and;

3. MARINA Blockchain-Enabled Automated Certification Management System, a web-enabled information system that guarantees the authenticity and security of documents or certificates stored in the MARINA database. They cannot be tampered or altered. To be developed and implemented in several phases, this blockchain technology targets seafarer-related certificates for the first phase before embarking on other issuances and certificates.

Parallel to these efforts will be a periodic audit and assessment of existing information systems to sustain their integrity and the security of data of stakeholders in the MARINA database.