MANILA - The Philippines has formed an inter-agency council composed of representatives from different government agencies in preparation for a maritime safety audit by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in 2021.
The council, formed through President Rodrigo Duterte’s Executive Order no. 84, will ensure that government agencies comply with the country’s obligations as a member state of the IMO—the United Nation’s specialized agency for regulating shipping.
Manila will undergo the IMO member state audit scheme (IMSAS) in 2021 and every 7 years thereafter.
Under the audit scheme, the Philippines’ policies concerning safety of life at sea, prevention of pollution from ships, standards of training and certification for seafarers, and regulations for preventing collisions at sea will be reviewed.
The inter-agency council will be headed by the transportation secretary, along with the Maritime Industry Authority administrator as vice chairperson. Members meanwhile will come from the Department of Foreign Affairs, Philippine Coast Guard, Philippine Ports Authority, and Cebu Port Authority.
A technical working group will also be formed to provide technical support on specific subjects of the audit scheme, according to the President’s order.
The Philippines became a member of the IMO in 1964 while the mandatory audit of all member-states of the agency began only on January 1, 2016.
Read President Duterte’s full EO here: