SBMA, MARINA hold Maritime Development Forum in Subic Freeport

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT – The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), in partnership with the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) conducted a two-day forum that discussed various programs intended to develop the maritime industry in the country.

According to MARINA Administrator Robert Empedrad, the event, which is dubbed the “Philippine Maritime Industry Strategic Overview Forum, Stakeholders’ Orientation and Mobile Registration,” aims to discuss plans to bring its services closer to the Filipino seafarers.

Empedrad also disclosed that part of this forum enhanced capabilities of the Subic Bay Freeport Zone (SBFZ) as a transshipment hub, and urged stakeholders to unite their efforts for the realization of its goals.

“Today, we would like to share the vision of moving the maritime industry with the SBMA, the local government of Olongapo, maritime academe and private stakeholders, as we believed that our united efforts would contribute to the realization of the plans under the 10-year Maritime Industry Development Plan (MIDP),” he said.

During the forum, officials from MARINA discussed the overview of the MIDP, Philippine ship registry and overseas shipping, shipyard and ship repair, maritime safety functions, rules on the registration, licensing and operation of recreational boats, domestic shipping functions, and seafarers’ documentation, licensing and certification.

“We want to open an extension office here in Subic Bay Freeport Zone that will cater to the 21,305 seafarers from Bataan, Olongapo, Zambales, and the SBFZ. MARINA cannot do it alone but with our united efforts, the dream may become a reality,” he said.

Realizing the huge portion of seafarers and maritime stakeholders in the area, the forum also aimed to lay down the plan of the MARINA in establishing an extension office in Subic through a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with SBMA.

SBMA Chairman and Administrator Rolen C. Paulino welcomed the MARINA’s proposal, citing that the extension office will certainly benefit the seafarers of Central Luzon. He committed to provide any assistance needed in the plan to develop the maritime industry of the Freeport.

Paulino expressed his gratitude over the MARINA’s plan to help the SBMA in the maritime industry, as the maritime group expresses its readiness to explore possible areas of collaboration particularly in terms of shipyard capabilities, ship registry, capacity building, as well as relevant maritime-related projects and programs.

During the opening of the forum, SBMA Senior Deputy Administrator for Operations Ronnie Yambao said the Subic Bay Freeport Zone received 1,973 ship calls in 2021, with a total of 23,505,520.26 Gross Register Tonnage.

He added that for the months of January and February of this year, the SBMA received 144 and 186 ship calls, respectively. These ships include motor tankers, motor vessels, military vessels, container vessels and other ships.



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