By Minerva Newman
CEBU CITY – The Office for Transportation Security (OTS) envisions Cebu as the zone of maritime transport security standards in the country.
The OTS conducted the Maritime Security Pilot program and introduced OTS Third Party Auditors and Registered Security Organizations during a five-day workshop last week at the Waterfront Airport hotel in Lapu Lapu City.
OTS Deputy Administrator Miguel Oraa said in a press conference the goal of the program is to ensure the compliance of maritime transport operators in Cebu with port security measures.
Oraa said the maritime security rules, regulations and policies are part of the National Security Program for Sea Transport and Maritime Infrastructure (NSPSTMI).
“OTS monitors the strict compliance and implementations of security measures and standards in the transportation sector that includes road/land, sea/maritime and air/aviation safety and security of the passengers, crews, and their respective facilities and infrastructure,” Oraa said.
He said the NSPSTMI adopts the highest practicable standards set by the International Maritime (IMO), is an international body and machinery network for international cooperation for inter-government regulations.
Oraa said it is important that maritime operators are trained and knowledgeable in the administration and implementation of key provisions of the NSPSTMI.
OTS issues national ship the security certificate (SSP) and statement of compliance of a Port Facility (PFSP) for NSPSTMI and ISPS compliance. The SSP and PFSP se are legal instrument developed by the OTS to prevent acts of terrorism that threaten the security of passengers and crews and the safety of ships, Oraa said.
OTS has assessed maritime security enforcement in the major ports in the country including those in Central Visayas.
Out of 65 port facilities under CPA jurisdiction, only 23 were OTS compliant and 43 were not, Oraa said.
Maritime operators and the Cebu Port Authority (CPA) are required to submit their Port Facility Security Assessment (PFSA) and Port Facility Security Plan (PFSP) in compliance with the NSPSTMI.
Through workshops the OTS trained about 1,500 port workers and 500 port facilities nationwide, Oraa said.