SUBIC BAY FREEPORT ZONE – To provide awareness on the 10-Year Maritime Industry Development Plan (MIDP) and information on MARINA’s policies, as well as to explore areas of collaboration with Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), particularly in terms of ship registry for recreational boats and an established MARINA extension office in the area, the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) conducted the Philippine Maritime Industry Strategic Overview Forum, Stakeholders’ Orientation, and Mobile Registration on 16 to 18 March 2022 at Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center.

The three-day activity started with MARINA’s courtesy and site visit to SMBA, followed by the forum proper, and ended with the conduct of mobile registration, which was spearheaded by the MARINA Regional Office – National Capital Region (NCR).

SMBA Senior Deputy Administrator for Operations Mr. Ronnie R. Yambao delivered his welcoming remarks, saying “We would like to extend our sincerest appreciation to Administrator Vice Admiral Empedrad and to all our partners in MARINA, for collaborating with SBMA in coming up with this program. We appreciate this program with MARINA to be able to strengthen the capabilities of both agencies, mutually benefitting each other not only in the registration of boats but also in areas shipyards, safety and improvement, and other maritime-related initiatives.”

For his part, MARINA Administrator Vice Admiral Robert A Empedrad AFP (Ret), in his opening statement, also expressed his gratitude and appreciation to SBMA for the noble and major teamwork and collaboration with the Agency, marking the beginning of the deeper partnership between the two. He likewise conveyed his gratefulness to the maritime stakeholders participated in the activity.

“We would like to share the vision of developing the Philippine maritime industry with SBMA, local government of Olongapo, maritime academe, and private stakeholders, as we believe that the united efforts would contribute to the realization of plans under the 10-Year Maritime Industry Development Plan (MIDP). Let me quote the statement of Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur P. Tugade. ‘Together, we are stronger’,” Administrator Empedrad emphasized.

Aside from the overview of the MIDP, Administrator Empedrad also shared the importance of expanding the Philippine Ship Registry, generating more employment in the country’s shipyards, giving information and lectures regarding the topics which were discussed in the forum proper, as well as the establishment of a MARINA extension office with the help of SBMA.

“Last year, we have some engagement with SBMA. In-allow nila ang MARINA to have an extension office here in Subic so we can serve better and faster. The MARINA wishes to bring its services closer to the people, most especially to the Filipino seafarers. This is one of the initiatives, which will be followed by discussions of making SBMA a transshipment hub,” Administrator Empedrad added, realizing the huge portion of seafarers and maritime stakeholders in the area who will benefit the said extension office.

The MARINA likewise held the ceremonial issuance of the first Recreational Boat Certificate (RBC) in Subic, which was issued by MARINA Administrator Empedrad, SMBA Senior Deputy Administrator Yambao, and MRO-NCR Director Engr. Marc Anthony P. Pascua to Mr. Apa Ongpin.

As part of the activity which was the stakeholders’ orientation, the MARINA service unit directors presented and discussed several relevant topics relating to the Philippine maritime industry: Planning and Policy Service (PPS) Director Luisito U. Delos Santos with the MIDP, Overseas Shipping Service (OSS) OIC-Director Ms. Precila C. Jara with the Philippine Ship Registry and Overseas Shipping; Shipyards Regulation Service (SRS) Director Engr. Ramon C. Hernandez with the Shipyard and Ship Repair; Maritime Safety Service (MSS) Director Mr. Jeffrey Bangsa with the Maritime Safety Functions; Domestic Shipping Service (DSS)- Ship Registration and Documentation Division Chief Ms. Geraldina Evangelista with Domestic Shipping Functions; DSS OIC-Director Atty. Sharon L. De Chavez-Aledo with MARINA Memorandum Circular No. DS-2019-01 on the Rules and Registration, Licensing and Operation of Recreational Boats; and, OIC Deputy Administrator for Planning Director Sonia Malaluan with the Seafarers’ Documentation, Licensing and Certification.

Lastly, STCW Office Deputy Executive Director Capt Jeffrey P Solon delivered the closing remarks, pointing out, “Subic is very nice place. Everything is here. With the capacity of Subic in serving the maritime industry, logistically speaking, it is a One-Stop Shop place. It’s just a matter of putting all our hands together to make this as a powerhouse. Nandito na lahat. With the collaboration of the stakeholders, the future investors, the MARINA, the SBMA, we can do wonders in this place.”