The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), held an orientation for its new industry partner, the Authority for the Freeport Area of Bataan (AFAB) on 10 November 2021. The activity, with the title “Orientation for the Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan,” is part of the initial efforts of the two agencies to officially establish their partnership.

“With the FAB’s strategic location and its proximity to the nation’s capital, we see it as an ideal site for lucrative trade activities in various sectors,” MARINA Administrator Vice Admiral Robert A Empedrad said in his message. Administrator Empedrad also proudly shared that there are three shipyards located at the Freeport Area of Bataan. These shipyards, which produce different types of ships and cater to dry-docking and repair needs, are all great contributors to the shipbuilding and ship repair (SBSR) market.

“As the government regulating body, we first have to fully understand the needs of as well as the trends in the industry that is of our concern. And we, the MARINA and the AFAB, must have a full grasp of our partners’ mandates and functions so that we can identify where and how we can collaborate for the betterment of our respective industries,” Administrator Empedrad added.

AFAB Administrator Engr. Emmanuel D. Pineda also graced the orientation. Engr. Pineda conveyed his hopes that the MARINA-AFAB partnership would prosper, citing goals to generate more jobs in the Central Luzon area. Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority reported that there were around 8 million individuals who were members of Bataan’s active working population as of April 2021.

The MARINA-AFAB cooperation aims to encourage more investments for the SBSR sector in the Freeport Area of Bataan. This new partnership would be instrumental to the realization of the Program 5 of the MIDP, which aims to transform the Philippines into a global maritime hub by upgrading and expanding the facilities as well as the capability of Philippine shipyards.

Presentations made during the orientation were about the Maritime Industry Development Program (MIDP) 2019-2018, and the MARINA’s policies on the registration on licensing of shipyards; vessel construction, conversion, alteration, and repair; vessel safety; and the marine environment. The MARINA also provided updates on the IMO Member State Audit Scheme.