As the Marine Environment Protection of the Southeast Asian Seas (MEPSEAS) Project will mark its end in December 2022, the Philippines, as one of the Lead Partnering Countries (LPCs), shared its accomplishments from the said project during the Third High-Level Regional Meeting on MEPSEAS held on 25 to 27 October 2022 at Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam.

The Philippine delegation, headed by the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) Deputy Administrator for Operations (DAO), Nannette Z. Villamor – Dinopol, provided the country’s benefits and plans of sustaining the gains from the MEPSEAS Project.

“The Philippines aims to mobilize a whole-of-nation approach cooperation in protecting, conserving, and managing the marine environment and natural resources for the present and future generation,” DAO Dinopol highlighted.

In her presentation, she shared the institutionalization of a National Task Force dedicated to facilitate the ratification of, accession to and implementation of maritime conventions through the establishment of the Inter-agency Coordinating Committee to Facilitate the Ratification of and Accession to and Implementation of Maritime Conventions (ICCFRAIMC), which was created through Executive Order No. 159.

Likewise, she reported the improved procedure for ratification and implementation of International Maritime Organization (IMO) Instruments through the adoption of a Roadmap for the Ratification and Implementation of Maritime Conventions by each concerned agency.

Further, DAO Dinopol presented the following issuances by the MARINA as the National Focal Point for the MEPSEAS Project: a) MARINA Quality Procedure No. 04-01, series of 2021 or the Procedures on the Ratification and Implementation of Maritime Conventions; and b) MARINA Administrative Order No. 16-22, series of 2022 or the Guidelines on the Formulation, Revision and Referencing of Memorandum Circulars, Proposed Bills, Draft Executive Orders, Draft Department Orders, Implementing Rules and Regulations of a Law and Circulars.

DAO Dinopol also informed the attendees that the country is preparing its National Strategic Action Plan Framework, following the eight key components in the implementation of other Maritime Conventions.

Meanwhile, Engr. Ramon C. Hernandez, Director of the MARINA Shipyards Regulation Service, shared the operationalization of the Maritime Training Institute (MarTi) which serves as the implementing and administrative entity for the development of human resources in MARINA and the maritime sector as a whole.

MarTi also aims to increase the number of competent and qualified maritime professionals/ workforce in the country through the conduct of training, workshops, and other related formal and informal educational programs in compliance with the national and international best standards.

He also reported about the implementation of the Ballast Water Management (BWM) and Anti-Fouling Systems (AFS) Conventions as part of the Marine Environment Protection Strategy, which is under the Program 10 of the 10-year Maritime Industry Development Plan (MIDP) and the strengthened partnership with relevant government agencies and funding institutions.

He likewise provided the updates on the activities undertaken by the Government of the Philippines based on the National Strategic Action Plan (NSAP).

The Philippine delegation is composed of the MARINA Deputy Administrator for Operations Nannette Villamor – Dinopol, MARINA – SRS Director Engr. Ramon C. Hernandez, Officer-in-Charge of the MARINA – Overseas Shipping Service (OSS), Ms. Precila C. Jara, and MEPSEAS National Consultants.

The MEPSEAS Project is a 5-year project (2017-2022) of the IMO in cooperation with the Norwegian Agency for the Development (NORAD) providing assistance to East Asian countries in ratifying and implementing IMO Instruments for the protection of the marine environment.

See more photos here.