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Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista

Philippines wants to rejoin IMO council 

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A re-election by the Philippines in the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Council will advance the country's marine industry and protection, while looking after the welfare of Filipino seafarers as the Department of Transportation (DOTr) seeks to continue contributing to policy formulation and decision-making in the advisory body.

Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista pointed out that as a member of the IMO Council, the government can sustain various technical cooperation projects and allow the country to implement state administration responsibilities as required under relevant conventions, codes, and protocols.

“We believe our seat at the Council is rooted at our being the preferred choice of seafarers in the global crew manning market as well as being the fifth largest shipbuilding nation,” stated in Sec. Bautista's speech delivered by DOTr Undersecretary for Maritime Elmer Francisco Sarmiento during a diplomatic reception for the country’s candidature to the IMO Council on Tuesday, September 26.


The transport chief said the Philippines is serious in protecting the marine environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and plastic pollution of the seas through partnerships with international organizations.

“We pledge to remain a proactive member of the IMO at ensuring the safety of life and property at sea, sustainable shipping, and environmentally sound marine industry,” also stated in Sec. Bautista's message.

The Philippines represents the largest nationality of global maritime crew with 385,000 Filipino seafarers deployed in 2023, and over 171,000 certified Filipino officers on board marine vessels as of April.

Apart from 569 ships locally constructed for domestic use and 47 vessels for export last year, the Philippines is also responsible stewards of green shipping and marine environment protection.


The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) is monitoring the compliance of Philippine-registered vessels with the registered vessels with the sulfur limit on fuel oil, while the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) is prioritizing its Green Port initiative towards sustainable port operations, and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) is improving its strategies in responding to oil spill.

The Philippines has been a member of the IMO since 1964, elected to the IMO Council in 1997, and is a signatory to the ratification of 28 IMO Conventions.

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