The country will maintain its number one status as the most sought after and number 1 supplier of seafarers in the world, according to Transportation Secretary Art Tugade during the 45th Anniversary Celebration of the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA).

“We are working to keep the country’s standing in the International Maritime Organization (IMO)’s white list to be the No. 1 producer of seafarers,” Tugade said told attendees of the said event on June 5.

He graced the said occasion and was joined Marina officer-in-charge Vice Admiral Narciso Vingson Jr. in leading the inauguration of the agency’s 12-story building worth P382 million in Port Area, Manila.

The ship-inspired building is a symbol of the agency’s vision in transforming the Philippines into a major maritime nation.

Marina continues to improve its initiatives for maritime training and education in the country.

In partnership with its valued stakeholders, Marina continues to build a better nation for the Filipino people through an empowered maritime industry.

Aside from the inauguration of the agency’s central office, the invaluable contributions of employees, inter-agency partners and private stakeholders in enhancing the maritime industry were recognized during the event.

Vingson cited the accomplishments of Marina such as the reduction in the annual average death toll from 207 fatalities from 1966 to 2015 to 13 fatalities from 2016 to 2018, faster processing time of seafarer documents from five days to only 30 minutes, as well as the application for the seaman’s book from eight hours to just 15 minutes.

He assured maritime stakeholders of greater growth with the implementation of the 10-year maritime industry development plan, which aims to upgrade domestic shipping in support of the nautical highway development.

He also vowed to promote maritime tourism, establish the country’s coastal inland waterways transport system, enhance the safety of Philippine-registered fishing vessels and create the country’s first-ever global maritime hub, among others.

The agency is focused on its modernization campaign and the Philippines’ reelection to the IMO Council in the 31st General Assembly to be held in November this year.

IMO Maritime Ambassador Carlos Salinas, Netherlands Ambassador Saskia de Lang, Norwegian Ambassador Bjorn Yahnsen, board of directors of Marina, former Marina administrators Marcial Amaro III and Vicente Suazo Jr. and Angkla party-list Rep. Jesulito Manalo also attended the anniversary celebration.

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