MARINA to review Domestic Shipping Development Act

Not satisfied with the slow-paced development of the domestic shipping industry three years after Republic Act 9295 or the Domestic Shipping Development Act of 2004, the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) wants to review its implementing guidelines to streamline some aspects and make it more attractive to investors.

It added that the review will not only involve certain provisions but will be reviewed as a whole in order to correct any defects that become obsolete due to several major economic changes in the past three years. It will also to make vague provisions clearer that has been the subject of several arguments the past years. Marina said the review is also in line with current thrust of the current Marina administration to have a more efficient shipping industry that has been ‘at berth’ almost the past two decades.

It added that the fine-tuning of some implementing guidelines will further clarify some of the controversial portions of the law such as cargo insurance. The compulsory cargo insurance is one of the major concerns that will have to be addressed in the review. RA 9295 mandates that all cargoes onboard should be insured compulsory.

According to Marina, the cargo liability of the vessel operators that should be insured and not the cargo itself since operators have no claims over the cargoes not just like in the passage service.

To date, the Marina technical working group is in the process of brainstorming on how to undergo with the review and has already prepared a 20- page amendment to the guidelines.

Marina is also set to circle the Philippines to conduct some public consultation on the revision or amendments that will be made in the IRR. Marina expects a clearer IRR by next year.

RA 9295, on the other hand, was passed to kick-start modernization not only of the country’s shipping fleet but also serve as the ‘badly needed shot in the arm’ of the country’s shipbuilding industry that has been content in doing repair works mostly from foreign ship owners.