Featured image courtesy of MARINA
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) Member State Audit Scheme (IMSAS) is an audit happening in October 2021 with the purpose of checking if our country is strictly following the standards as laid out by the IMO. As this carries utmost importance in the grander scheme of the maritime industry in the Philippines, a Verification Audit was held by the Philippine Maritime Administration. This event happened last January 20 to 24 through the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) and with the presence of various governing bodies among the maritime sector.
Among the several agencies who participated are the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), the Department of Transportation (DOTr), and the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA).
Past efforts have been done in the last year in preparation for IMSAS 2021. This includes the training workshops last February 2019 by an IMO Consultant and discussions about implementation strategies – from industry regulations to improvements in maritime training centers – conducted by the IMSAS Interagency Council.
As for this Verification Audit, VAdm Narciso A. Vingson Jr., MARINA Officer-In-Charge, says that it acts as a follow-up so that existing issues and lapses in the execution of “relevant international maritime instruments” can be rectified by the corresponding parties.
Aside from the statement made by VAdm Vingson, other representatives of MARINA also took part in imparting important info. Emmanuel B. Carpio, director of the MARINA – Planning and Policy Service (MARINA – PPS) recounted the plans of action that have been implemented in compliance with IMSAS 2021 so far. Atty. Jean Ver P. Pia, PhD, Director of the MARINA – Overseas Shipping Service (MARINA – OSS) as well as our country’s Single Point of Contact (SPC) for IMSAS 2021, also led an interactive discussion about future plans to further solidify our compliance before the audit next year.
Following the audit is crucial in ensuring all our current industry processes – from the training procedures down to the actual work – meet international maritime standards. The presence of IMSAS 2021 is necessary to check if what we’re doing is right and to correct possible errors in our implementation. By participating in mock audits, workshops, and other activities leading to the audit, we can address any and all issues as early as we can for the betterment of maritime trainees, professionals, and the industry as a whole.
(MARINA, PortCalls Asia)