THE Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) has shown its shared commitment to regional transport development during the 29th Asean Transport Ministerial Meeting (ATM) and the 56th Senior Transport Officials Meeting (STOM).
Marina deputy administrator Sonia Malaluan spearheaded the Philippines’ engagement in the 29th ATM and the 56th STOM in Luang Prabang, Lao PDR, held on Nov. 9-10, 2023. With Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista at the helm, the delegation adopted the 2024 Annual Priorities and Deliverables and a comprehensive master plan/action plan covering aviation, land and maritime transport.
Under maritime transport, two important documents were adopted, including Guidelines on Smart Ports and Recommendations, to strengthen regional preparedness for future crises concerning the continuity of port terminal operations and facilitating crew change and repatriation.
Associated meetings included Asean with development partners China, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the European Union. The Asean-China Transport Cooperation Strategic Plan included programs on domestic ferry safety, among others, where the Philippines will collaborate.
The new Asean-Japan Transport Partnership Action Plan, adopted as the Luang Prabang Action Plan, encompasses the promotion of alternative fuels for ships, the development of guidelines for realizing carbon-neutral ports in the Asean region, and the regional action plan on port security, among others.
The Asean-ROK Transport Cooperation Roadmap introduces innovative strategies for smart mobility and was subsequently adopted at the 14th ATM+ROK.
The European Commission also presented the progress of the implementation of the E-Readi Program, including the study on the implementation of the Maritime Labor Convention, 2006 (MLC 2006) in the Asean, as well as the EU-Asean Sustainable Connectivity Package (Scope), expected to commence in 2024/2025.
Scope covers key areas such as air traffic management, safety, sustainability, carbon offsetting and resilience. Major projects include technical assistance to seafarers and domestic ferry safety.
An interface meeting between Asean Transport Ministers and Tourism Ministers was held, exchanging views on areas of cooperation to improve accessibility to priority destinations to further encourage intra-Asean travel and support travel facilitation. The meeting also agreed to form a Task Force to scale up cross-sectoral coordination and collaboration.
Agreements reached during the meetings solidify commitments from Asean and Dialogue Partners Transport Ministers. The Philippine delegation comprises DoTr undersecretaries for planning, maritime, aviation, and land; representatives from the Civil Aviation Board, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, and the International Cooperation Division of the department.