MANILA, Philippines — Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva has expressed concern over the alarming number of maritime accidents in the country.
Hernani Fabia, administrator of the Maritime Industry Authority (marina), during a Senate hearing on the 2024 draft budget of the Ministry of Transport, revealed on Tuesday that a total of 782 maritime accidents had been recorded in the country from 2018 to 2022.
“This is unacceptable. Has Marina revised its policies, in coordination with other agencies, to mitigate, if not completely avoid, similar maritime incidents?'” Villanueva asked in English and Filipino.
“These 782 maritime accidents that you mentioned are alarming,” he added.
“It’s alarming. This is a matter of compliance and respecting the fine policy,” Fabia said.
This prompted Villanueva to ask Fabia what steps are being taken to prevent these incidents from happening again. Otherwise, the senator noted, this problem “will continue to persist.”
“We are doing something. We are trying to educate ship owners. We are going to hold a summit on maritime security (and) we (are) going to review our policy on this,” Fabia said.
The Marina official also stressed that they are considering reviewing and amending Presidential Decree No. 474, the law behind the creation of Marina, to possibly align it with the changing times.