Marcos Jr.: Time to make maritime industry a top priority
MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Tuesday said the time is now for the government to make the country’s maritime industry a “top priority.”
“Given that the Philippines is a maritime nation, I believe it is time for us to make the maritime industry again a top priority,” the President said at the Philippine Maritime Industry Summit 2023.
He said 25% of global seafarers are Filipinos, who brought in a total of US $6.71 billion in remittances in 2022.
“While we already hold a dominant position in the world of global shipping, I certainly believe that we can do more, especially here at home,” he added.
Marcos said the Philippines must harness the knowledge of seafarers and use their experiences to localize the country’s industries.
He also ordered a whole-of-government approach to bolster a new maritime industry program, which is seen to bring substantial economic growth to the country.
Marcos said the new program, the Maritime Industry Development Plan (MIDP) 2028, will cover the eight-point economic agenda of his administration.
The program is aimed at ensuring the development and expansion of the Philippine merchant fleet and ensure the advancement of a future-ready maritime human capital.
Marcos also noted that the MIDP would establish a system that would lessen the detrimental impacts of natural and man-made calamities and prepare for future contingencies that may affect the sector.
He also noted that as of Dec. 31, 2022, there were nearly 16,000 registered domestic sea vessels plying the nearly 1,300 inter-island shipping routes across the country.
Almost 100 Philippine-registered overseas ships yielded P30.75 million in tax collections in 2022.
Marcos urged all government institutions and key stakeholders to collaborate and cooperate to ensure the continued growth and development of the maritime sector.
“I also urge all concerned agencies to pursue a whole-of-government approach to effectively implement the MIDP 2028 as well as to continue communicating with member-states of the International Maritime Organization and the European Union-Committee on Safe Seas,” he said.
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