The Philippines was able to uphold its position to the Council of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) as it was re-elected under Category C for Biennium 2022 to 2023, during the 32nd Regular Session of the IMO Assembly held at the IMO Headquarters in London on 10 December 2021.

The Council is the executive organ of the IMO responsible for supervising the work of the Organization. Members of the IMO Council under Category C is composed of States that have special interest in maritime transport or navigation, and whose election to the Council will ensure the representation of all major geographic areas of the world.

The Philippines has been an active member of the IMO Council since 1997. The country’s re-election to the IMO Council provides the country with continued opportunity to contribute to policy formulation and decision-making processes of the IMO, voting rights to IMO Council, a venue to promote Filipino seafarers, Philippine ship registry, shipbuilding and other maritime industry in the global maritime world paving the way to more opportunities for Filipinos and the industry and participation in the advancement of safer ships, welfare of the seafarers and protection of the marine environment.

Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Art Tugade conveyed the country’s unwavering commitment to continually advance the mission of the IMO in ensuring the safety of life and property at sea, sustainable shipping, and an environmentally-sound maritime industry.

“This privilege could be attributed to the recognition extended to our role as a seafaring country. We have proven, time and again, that the Filipinos are the ‘Preferred Seafarers of Choice’ as we represent the largest nationality of the maritime crew in the international maritime fleet. But more than our identity of being a major provider of competent seafarers, the Philippines also stands proud as a maritime powerhouse that fosters a holistic maritime strategy, given its archipelagic nature,” Secretary Tugade said.

Meanwhile, the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) Administrator Vice Admiral Robert A Empedrad AFP (Ret) underscored the importance of the re-election.

“First of all, I would like to express that all the praises and glory to the Lord. Secondly, it’s time to work for all the Filipino seafarers around the world. You will have a big voice and powerful guardians in the IMO.”

Aside from the Philippines, the 32nd Assembly voted the following Member States to the IMO Council (Category C) for the next two years: Singapore, Egypt, Cyprus, Malta, Bahamas, Malaysia, Indonesia, Chile, Kenya, Saudi Arabia, Jamaica, Belgium, Morocco, Turkey, Mexico, Vanuatu, Qatar, Denmark, and Thailand.

The Philippine delegation for the 32nd Regular Session of the IMO Assembly is composed of the Permanent Representative to Philippine, Permanent Mission to IMO, Ambassador Antonio Lagdameo, Alternate Representative to Philippine, Permanent Mission to IMO, Minister Ana Marie Hernando, MARINA Administrator Vice Admiral Empedrad, MARINA STCW Office Executive Director Vice Admiral Rene Medina AFP (Ret), incoming Maritime Attaché Atty Jean Ver Pia PhD, outgoing Maritime Attaché Ms. Sonia Malaluan, Technical Adviser to the Maritime Attaché Capt. Weniel Azcuna and Mr. Jasper Caesar Jampac of MARINA.