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Duterte creates inter-agency body for 2021 IMO audit

Christina Mendez - The Philippine Star
Duterte creates inter-agency body for 2021 IMO audit
Duterte signed Executive Order No. 84 weeks after the government called the attention of the IMO regarding the plight of 22 Filipino fishermen who were abandoned by a Chinese ship after it rammed the Philippine fishing vessel at Recto Bank on June 9.
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MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte has created an inter-agency council as part of the country’s preparations for the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Member State Audit Scheme (IMSAS) in 2021.

Duterte signed Executive Order No. 84 weeks after the government called the attention of the IMO regarding the plight of 22 Filipino fishermen who were abandoned by a Chinese ship after it rammed the Philippine fishing vessel at Recto Bank on June 9.

The body is chaired by the secretary of the Department of Transportation (DOTr), with the administrator of the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) as vice chairman and representatives from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) and Cebu Port Authority as members.

The Philippines will undergo the IMSAS in 2021 and every seven years thereafter.

The audit aims to check the country’s compliance with its obligations as IMO member-state, including safety of life at sea, prevention of pollution from ships, standards of training, certification and watchkeeping for seafarers, load lines, tonnage measurement of ships and regulations for preventing collisions at sea.

Under the EO, the council should ensure that its member-agencies comply with the policies, laws and issuances of the IMO.

“To ensure strict and full compliance with the commitments and obligations of the Philippines as a member-state of the IMO, both at the policy and technical levels, there is a need to carefully plan, manage, direct, coordinate and monitor the corresponding efforts of relevant national government agencies and instrumentalities,” read the EO, which Duterte signed on July 2.

The President also ordered the creation of a technical working group (TWG) chaired by the DOTr assistant secretary for maritime, with Marina deputy administrator for operations as vice chairperson.

Other members of the TWG are representatives from the DFA, PCG, PPA, Cebu Port Authority, Commission on Higher Education, National Mapping and Resource Information Authority, Environmental Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources of the Department of Agriculture, Office for the Transportation Security of the DOTr and the Philippine National Police Maritime Group.

The DOTr should submit to the Office of the President, through the Office of the Executive Secretary, annual reports on the implementation of the order.      

CHINESE SHIP

INTERNATIONAL MARITIME ORGANIZATION

RODRIGO DUTERTE

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