Disposing garbage is an important duty among many seafarers, and one that should be taught alongside other maritime courses in the Philippines. Aside from maintaining cleanliness and protecting the environment, eliminating all the excess waste allows for a smoother process on the ship. For this reason, the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) held the National Workshop on MARPOL Annex V and Port Reception Facilities last October 23 to 25. The workshop was hosted in coordination with the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
The MARPOL Annex V is also known as the Regulations for the Prevention of Pollution by Garbage from Ships. Its purpose is to minimize or outright remove garbage thrown from ships into the sea. Certain practices are strictly implemented in accordance with this. The amended version was discussed during the workshop.
MARINA Officer-In-Charge VADM Narciso A. Vingson Jr. highlighted the importance of various authorities working together in order to reduce waste coming from ships. He also explained MARINA’s duty to ensure the good and healthy condition of the marine environment by educating professionals – young and old – involved in the industry.
According to IMO Regional Coordinator and Presence in East Asia Atty. Josephine Uranza, the main agendas of the workshop were the following:
- Spread information regarding the effects of ship waste on the sea;
- Make attendees aware of the international regulations as far as MARPOL Annex V and other practices are concerned;
- Discuss ideal and effective waste disposal methods for port reception facilities;
- Ensure all maritime professionals are educated enough to properly implement MARPOL Annex V.
IMO experts came to talk about various issues related to waste management and disposal in ships. These included the sources and negative effects of garbage on the environment and methods used in order to prevent such issues as explained by Mr. Peter Van den Dries. Mr. Kelton Lim and Mr. Mark Lim Yew Guan, hailing from the Maritime Port Authority (MPA) of Singapore, also added information about MARPOL and the amendments of MARPOL Annex V.
As for how this translates to our practices in the country, Mr. Gerald Cordero, a Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) representative, explained the methods employed by the PCG to combat pollution in their duties. Regarding our country’s adherence to MARPOL 73/78, Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) representative Mr. Arnold Villegas also brought up events overseen by the PPA.
To end the event, interactive talks were done and commitments made during the workshop were taken note of.
Overall, workshops like these need to be held on a regular basis for both industry veterans and new professionals to be informed of new, effective, and environment-friendly ways to dispose waste. It’s also a venue for various maritime organizations to lay out their current initiatives and how they can improve garbage disposal practices in the future. Once more maritime professionals are made aware of this, the combined efforts of each person can significantly lessen maritime waste, thus, reducing the negative effects caused by pollution.