PH to be major crew change hub in ASEAN

Published August 29, 2020, 10:00 PM

by Emmie V. Abadilla

The Philippines, through the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina), the other day committed to become a major international hub for crew change before the 39th Meeting of the Maritime Transport Working Group (MTWG) of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

Already, the Philippines has opened the Ports of Manila, Bataan and Subic for international crew change and looks forward to the opening of its other international ports for the purpose, according to Marina Administrator Robert A Empedrad, who headed the Philippine Delegation.

“We are activating crew change hubs in the country to give maritime vessels the avenue to refresh their manpower, and to provide relief to our seafarers,”  he added. “They are the lifeline of the world’s economy.”

Furthermore, he ensured that the supply chains, including the maritime sector in the Philippines, remain operational with the use of automated systems to lessen face-to-face transactions.

They also created a Shipping Protection Office protecting both domestic and international shippers against unreasonable fees and charges imposed by shipping lines.

Ports were decongested by issuing a directive for all domestic shipping lines to provide cargo space and allocation for agricultural and food products, and providing preferential cargo rates.

The STCW certificates of seafarers who are still on board ships were likewise extended

The 39th ASEAN MTWG was attended by ASEAN delegates from Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, and the Philippines.  Dialogue partners from Japan, China, Republic of Korea and the IMO were also present.