Philippine Senate adopts 7 treaties to boost maritime safety and security

With 19-0 votes, these new Senate Resolutions will now be implemented to help boost PH maritime safety and security.

Sponsored by Senator Loren Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Philippine senate has now adopted the following maritime treaties:

SR No. 648 – International Convention on the Control of Harmful Anti-Fouling Systems on Ships 2001 (AFS Convention)
SR No. 649 – Protocol of 1997 to Amend the International Convention of Pollution from Ships 1973, as modified by the Protocol of 1978 (Marpol Protocol)
SR No. 650 – Protocol of 1988 relating to the International Convention on Load Lines 1966 (Load Lines Convention)
SR No. 651 – Protocol of 1978 relating to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (Protocol 1978 SOLAS Convention)
SR No. 652 – Protocol of 1988 relating to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (Protocol 1988 SOLAS Convention) SR No. 653 – Agreement to Promote Compliance with International Conservation and Management Measures by Fishing Vessels on High Seas
SR No. 654 – Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing

How can these treaties help to boost PH maritime safety and security?

AFS Convention
It aims to prevent the contamination of marine species. This prohibits the use of harmful organotins or chemical compounds that is considered toxic and have long-term adverse effect in the environment. Senator Legarda also consider scientific studies and investigation by the government that shows that certain AFS used on ships causes substantial risk of toxicity that can result harm to human health from the consumption of affected seafood.

Protocol of 1997 to Amend the International Convention of Pollution from Ships (Marpol Protocol)
It aims to set limits on the main air pollutants contained in ships’ exhaust gas. It prohibits deliberate emissions of ozone-depleting substances and requires the designation of emission control area, setting more stringent strategies for sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and particulate matter.

Load Lines Convention
According to Legarda, this will play an important role as a major pillar of maritime safety. It prevents the overloading of ships through the presence of visible load line marks on each side of the ship to determine loading limits. In addition, the Philippines’ accession to Load Lines Convention will demonstrate the country’s commitment in ensuring the safety of ships and preventing accidents that could lead to massive loss of life and serious damage to the marine environment through oil spills.

The Protocol 1978 SOLAS (International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea) Convention
It aims to update the safety standards of crude carriers and product carriers by requiring the specifications of radars and steering gear to enhance safety of navigation.

Protocol 1988 SOLAS (International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea)  Convention
It specifies the standards for the construction, equipment and operation of ships compatible with their safety.

Agreement to Promote Compliance with International Conservation and Management Measures by Fishing Vessels on High Seas
It ensures that fishing vessels is entitled to fly the flag of a state party to not engage in activities that undermine the effectiveness of international conservation and management measures.

Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing
It aims to require foreign vessels to provide advance notice to port authorities and request permission to entry. Philippines can now deny a vessel entry if it has sufficient proof of engaging into fishing-related activities.

With the treaties mentioned above, it’s also important to continue boosting the quality of maritime training in the philippines to not just be competitive internationally but also for Filipino seafarers to become responsible in all aspects when sailing the seas.

(The Philippine Daily Inquirer, PortCalls Aisa)

 

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