THE Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) has formally inaugurated its first and newly-constructed central office building located along Bonifacio Drive corner 20th Street, Port Area on Wednesday.
Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade led the inauguration of the 12-storey government building with a total land area of 12,000 square meters and with an actual cost of P382 million.
The event was also witnessed by ANGKLA Partylist Rep. Jesulito Manalo, IMO Maritime Ambassador Carlos Salinas, Netherlands Ambassador to the Philippines Saskia de Lang, Norwegian Ambassador to the Philippines Bjorn Yahnsen, members of MARINA Board, and former MARINA administrators Marcial Amaro III and Vicente Suazo Jr., among other significant guests.
“You have the facility that is called a building. You have the people that is ready to work and be patriotic for the cause of the government, and you have the businesses and processes that will sustain the sustainable effective operation. And this is what today is all about,” said Secretary Tugade.
MARINA was first housed at the Philippine President Lines building in United Nations Avenue, Ermita, Manila for 35 years. In 2007, the MARINA transferred to YIC building, then to Parkview Plaza building along Taft Avenue in 2008, and eventually, to its present site in 2019.
The building’s ship-inspired architecture is symbolic to the agency’s full steam sail towards its mission of providing leadership in transforming the Philippines into a major maritime nation. While its crew, the men and women of the Agency, stay true to their mandate as they work in a culture of quality, competence, and dedication anchored on the shared values of professionalism, integrity, and excellence.
In unity with its valued stakeholders, MARINA continues to build a better nation for the Filipino people through an empowered maritime.
Aside from the inauguration of the central office building, the MARINA celebrated its 45th founding anniversary with the recognition of the remarkable performances of its employees and offices.
In the event, the MARINA also recognized the invaluable contributions of inter-agency partners and private stakeholders in enhancing the country’s shipbuilding and ship repair sector, the domestic and overseas shipping industries, as well as the education and training of maritime manpower.
MARINA OIC Vice Admiral Narciso A. Vingson Jr. also shared the major accomplishments of MARINA since 1974 and highlighted its impacts in the maritime industry such as the reduction in the recorded average death toll from 207 fatalities annually from 1966 to 2015 to 13 fatalities from 2016 to 2018, faster processing time of seafarer documents from five days to just 30 minutes, as well as the application for the seaman’s book from eight hours to just 15 minutes.
Furthermore, Vingson assured maritime stakeholders of greater growth in the country’s maritime industry with the intensified implementation of the 10-year maritime industry development plan (MIDP) that aims to upgrade the domestic shipping in support of the nautical highway development; to promote of maritime tourism; to establish the country’s coastal inland waterways transport system; to enhance the safety in Philippine-registered fishing vessels; to establish the Philippines’ first-ever global maritime hub; to enhance the country’s maritime safety, to modernize maritime security, and to establish a maritime innovation and knowledge center.
MARINA is also focused in the reinforcement of its modernization campaign through a vessel retirement program and in the Philippines’ reelection to the IMO Council in the 31st General Assembly in November this year.
Finally, MARINA OIC emphasized that aside from the MIDP, the MARINA is also continuing to chart its path guided by long-term national provisions such as AmBisyon Natin 2040 and the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022 while remaining keen to the country’s compliance to international maritime conventions.