Presidential spokesperson Sec. Harry Roque delivers the keynote address of the IOPC Funds Compensation and Claims workshop taking place from 9 to 11 January 2018 at the New World Manila Bay hotel. Secretary Roque is joined (from l-r) by Philippine Permanent Representative to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Amb. Gilberto Asuque; Mr. José Maura, Director of the International Oil Pollution Compensation-Funds; incoming PCG Commandant Commo. Elson E. Hermogino, and Mr. Mark Homan, Claims Manager of the IOPCF.
The 3 day workshop, co-organized by the Philippine Coast Guard, the Philippine Embassy in London, and the IOPCF, aims to instruct first responders on oilspills, PH coastal communities, maritime agencies, and relevant stakeholders in seeking compensation from the Fund for economic and environmental damage arising from an oilspill. It will discuss in detail the 1992 Civil Liability Convention and the 1992 IOPC Fund, which the PH is a contracting state. END
PHILIPPINES RE-ELECTED TO COUNCIL OF THE INTERNATIONAL MARITIME ORGANIZATION UNDER CATEGORY C, SEEN AS AN EXPRESSION OF SUPPORT FOR PHILIPPINE ADVOCACY IN IMO ON SAFETY AND WELFARE OF SEAFARERS
01 December 2017, London - The Philippines was re-elected to the Council of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) under Category C at elections held on Friday during the 30th Session of the IMO Assembly (A30), 27 November to 06 December 2017, at the IMO Headquarters in London.
The Philippines placed number 13 in the 20 seat Category C representing the IMO Member States which have special interests in maritime transport or navigation. There were 24 candidates for the 20-seat Category C.
Permanent Representative to IMO, Gilberto Asuque, member of the Philippine Delegation to A30, stated that: “The election of the Philippines in the Council could be seen as global support for its work in the IMO towards promoting the interest, safety and welfare of seafarers through safer ships. The Philippine is a major source-country of seafarers for the global maritime fleet providing some 30% of the total manpower complement of commercial ships on international routes. Our advocacy for seafarers has been the fundament purpose for Philippine participation in the work of the IMO pursuant to the foreign policy of promoting the interest of the overseas Filipino workers.”
In the statement delivered at A30 before the elections, Dr. Marcial Q.C. Amaro III, Ph.D, Administrator of the Maritime Industry Authority and member of the Philippine Delegation to A30, said the Philippine candidature to the Council is predicated on three very simple concepts:
“1. Our candidature is a testament of our commitment to WORK with the IMO and all of you, the Member States, in achieving the goals of making safer ships that traverse secure and cleaner oceans and preserve the sustainability of the fragile marine environment.
“2. Our candidature to the Council is founded on a desire to serve, in the same manner that our seafarers have continued to serve and man ships all over the world, and in an equal manner that the Philippines has served as the fourth largest shipbuilding nation.
“3. Our candidature seeks to lend our expertise and support in achieving UN Goals—the millennium development goals and now the new 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, not just on reducing the impacts of climate change and the conservation and sustainable use of the oceans, seas and marine resources, but more importantly in achieving the other goals of gender equality and partnering with institutions and engaging with others in achieving all the UN goals.”
The Council is the Executive Organ of IMO and is responsible, under the Assembly, for supervising the work of the Organization. Between sessions of the Assembly the Council performs all the functions of the Assembly, except the function of making recommendations to Governments on maritime safety and pollution prevention which is reserved for the Assembly by Article 15(j) of the Convention.
Among the other functions of the Council are to consider the draft work program and budget estimates of the Organization for submission to the Assembly; receive reports and proposals of the Committees and other organs for submission to the Assembly and Member States, with comments and recommendations; and appoint the Secretary-General, subject to the approval of the Assembly.
The elected members of the Council for the 2018-2019 biennium are:
Category (a): 10 States with the largest interest in providing international shipping services: China, Greece, Italy, Japan, Norway, Panama, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, United Kingdom, United States.
Category (b): 10 other States with the largest interest in international seaborne trade: Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, United Arab Emirates.
Category (c): 20 States not elected under (a) or (b) above which have special interests in maritime transport or navigation, and whose election to the Council will ensure the representation of all major geographic areas of the world:
Bahamas, Belgium, Chile, Cyprus, Denmark, Egypt, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kenya, Liberia, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Peru, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey.
Senator Loren Legarda witnesses the signing of the Philippine Embassy-SOAS Agreement
between Ambassador Antonio Lagdameo and Baroness Valerie Amos
On 24 October 2017, Philippine Ambassador to the United Kingdom Antonio Lagdameo and Baroness Valerie Amos, Director of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, signed the Gift Agreement to support Philippine studies programs at the world’s leading institution for the study of Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
Senator Loren Legarda, Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Finance who is also the main sponsor of the project, graced the formal signing ceremony in London.
Under the Gift Agreement, the Philippine Government thru the Office of Senator Legarda has donated the sum of ₱5,000,000 for the purpose of supporting academic activities and projects to advance Philippine studies at SOAS from 2017 to 2020.
The Philippine studies project will organize a series of academic activities that include, among others, workshops, conferences, language curriculum program, research and travel grants, digitization of SOAS Philippine materials, and administrative work for the establishment of Philippine Studies Center within the university.
The project is an outcome of collaboration between academic and cultural teams from SOAS and the Philippine Embassy in London.
Ambassador Lagdameo praised the generous support of Senator Legarda for the project which was initiated under the watch of former Ambassador (and now Department of Foreign Affairs Undersecretary) Enrique Manalo. He also thanked SOAS officials for their profound interest in the study of the Philippines.
“We welcome this academic collaboration between the Philippine Embassy and SOAS, a first of its kind in the UK. We very much look forward to expanding this meaningful partnership between the Philippines and SOAS”, said Ambassador Lagdameo.
The signing ceremony was also attended by Dr Ben Murtagh, Head of SOAS School of Languages, Cultures & Linguistics, Dr Cristina Juan, Research Associate, Ms Ruth O’Hanlon Lauren Welch, Director for Development, Consul General Senen Mangalile, Consul Rommel Romato and Ms Kristine Sheree Mangunay-Infante of the Office of Senator Legarda.
Established in 1916, SOAS offers more than 350 degree combinations in social sciences, arts, humanities and languages, all with a distinctive regional focus and global relevance. It has produced several heads of states, government ministers, diplomats, jurists, business leaders and many other notable leaders around the world. END
IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee Approves Designation of Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park as a Particularly Sensitive Sea Area
07 July 2017 - The Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) finally approved the Philippine application for the designation of the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park as a Particularly Sensitive Sea Area (TRNP-PSSA) with the adoption of the MEPC Resolution on the TRNP in the Sulu Sea PSSA.
The Committee at its 71st session ((MEPC 71, 03-07 July 2017) adopted the resolution at its final plenary session on 07 July 2017 acting on the recommendation of the Technical Group on PSSAs. In adopting the resolution, MEPC 71 took note “of the ecological criteria, in particular the criteria relating to uniqueness or rarity, naturalness, diversity and fragility criteria, and the socio-economic and scientific criteria of the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park as well as its vulnerability to damage by international shipping activities and the steps taken by the Philippines to address that vulnerability.”
Earlier, MEPC 71 adopted the recommendation of the IMO Maritime Safety Committee approving the TRNP area as an Area To Be Avoided (ATBA) by all types of ships of 150 gross tonnage and upwards. The ATBA is aimed at minimizing the risk of damage from ship groundings and pollution damage by international shipping activities and to protect the area's unique and threatened species as well as to preserve as far as practicable its critical habitat and diversity. The MEPC resolution stated that mariners should exercise extreme care when navigating in the area bounded by the geographical coordinates of the PSSA and adhere to the ATBA, which is defined by the following coordinates:
(1) 09º 17'.75 N, 119º 47'.79 E
(2) 09º 04'.73 N, 120º 12'.76 E
(3) 08º 49'.63 N, 120º 13'.99 E
(4) 08º 29'.63 N, 119º 53'.16 E
(5) 08º 36'.15 N, 119º 35'.46 E
(6) 09º 11'.06 N, 119º 36'.67 E
thence back to point (1).
The ATBA for the PSSA will take effect on 1 January 2018 at 0000 hours UTC based on an IMO Safety of Navigation Circular
In the resolution designating the region surrounding the TRNP as a PSSA, the MEPC invites IMO Member Governments to recognize the ecological, socio-economic and scientific criteria of the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park area as well as its vulnerability to damage by international shipping activities. The MEPC also invites Member Governments to note the ATBA to address the area's vulnerability.
The National Mapping and Resource Information Authority has also prepared the reference chart for the TRNP, which was attached to the MEPC resolution and is shown in the photo above.
After the approval of the MEPC resolution, Permanent Representative to the IMO Gilberto Asuque intervened to thank the Committee, the Technical Group on PSSAs and the Secretariat for their support and assistance leading to the final designation of the TRNP as a PSSA and assured the Committee that the Philippines will inform the Committee on how the PSSA is being implemented, as recommended by the Chair of MEPC 71. END