MARINA requires PH-registered ships to establish sewage treatment plant

Published September 8, 2020, 2:51 PM

by Betheena Kae Unite

The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) has required Philippine-registered ships to establish a sewage treatment plant (STP) and holding tank in a bid to reduce marine pollution.


The MARINA directive covers ships of 400 gross tonnage and above, and ships below 400 gross tonnage that are certified to carry more than 15 persons including its crew.

Passenger bancas and service boats with travel time of less than three hours carrying 15 passengers or less, and non-propelled barges are exempted.

According to MARINA, the sewerage treatment plant is a facility that treats the sewage on a ship and makes it capable of being discharged into the sea, while the holding tank is used for the collection and storage of sewage.

“Philippine-registered ships will be able to promote effective control of all sources of marine pollution, and to take all practicable steps to prevent pollution of the sea by dumping of wastes,” the agency said.

The move is in compliance with the Annex IV of MARPOL 73/78, as amended where the country is a State Party to the convention. Annex IV contains the set regulations regarding the discharge of sewage into the sea from ships, including regulations on the ships’ equipment and systems for the control of sewage discharge, the provision of port reception facilities for sewage, and requirements for survey and certification.

Under the circular, all Philippine-registered ships for construction shall submit to MARINA the installation plan for a holding tank and an STP including the discharge pipeline incorporated to the engine room arrangement plan and piping plan for verification and approval.

All existing ships without a holding tank, comminuting/disinfecting system and/or STP shall comply with the circular within the next dry-docking period.

They will also have to submit to the MARINA or their recognized organizations the modified engine room arrangement plan incorporating the holding tank and STP, including the discharge pipeline for approval subject to actual verification and issuance of safety construction certificate indicating the installation of the holding tank or sewage treatment plant.

All ships to be imported must also have a sewerage treatment plant and holding tank.