CEBU — The Department of Transportation (DoTr) has started the ball rolling for the modernization of the maritime sector through a dialogue with domestic shipowners on Saturday, 11 May 2019.
DoTr Secretary Arthur Tugade told maritime stakeholders that the terms and policies of the ship modernization will be drafted and finalized this year and shipowners have until 12 June to submit their position papers on the matter.
Two weeks after the submission of the position paper, on 26 June, a meeting shall again be held with the stakeholders.
Tugade stressed the need to avoid sea accidents due to the deteriorated state of ships for the protection and safety of passengers but said that seaworthiness of vessels will not be solely based on age, but through a technology-based system that shall inspect the state of internal and external components of ships.
Tugade also suggested the conduct of an all-encompassing maritime summit to be attended by all industry stakeholders for the collective formulation of a holistic approach to maritime issues and concerns.
“Gusto ko sana, kapag tayo ay magkaroon ng isang honest to goodness maritime summit, ang maririnig ko ay solusyon at suhestyon, at hindi ‘yung pagkakamali ng nakaraan,” the secretary said.
“Ang mga pagbabago at pag-unlad sa maritime sector ay hindi naman po dahil sa DoTr lang. Ito po ay dahil sa political will ng Pangulo at pagtutulungan ng mga ahensya ng gobyerno at ng pribadong sektor,” he added.
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) General Manager Jay Santiago were present at the dialogue with officials and members of the Visayan Association of Ferryboat and Coastwise Service Operators.