IMO assesses safety of PH domestic passenger ships




The Manila Times

Maritime And Logistics

THE International Maritime Organization (IMO) has concluded its consultation and assessment of domestic passenger ships to improve the safety and energy efficiency of the ferry operations. IMO used the Formal Safety Assessment guidelines to assess domestic passenger ships’ safety and energy efficiency. Two field visits to the country took place as part of the program’s assessment process. Their visit in July was meant to verify the findings collected through a series of virtual interviews with stakeholders. The second field trip in November, which enabled further feedback through more active consultation, was to validate the findings and recommended risk control options addressing the safety and energy efficiency of domestic passenger ships in the archipelago. The year-long project is funded by the World Bank Group, International Finance Corp. and IMO. A report with recommendations covering operational, regulatory, policy and modification solutions is expected to be released by the end of January 2023, which marks the end of the project. IMO and its co-sponsors discussed the safety issues with agencies such as the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina), Philippine Ports Authority, Philippine Coast Guard, as well as various stakeholders from the private sector in Manila and Cebu, last week. They also conducted a meeting with Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista and other Department of Transportation officials. “It aims to identify safe and green corridors where design and modification solutions can be tested to collate more accurate data on cost, capacity and effectiveness while assessing the impact of any planned solutions on the country’s economy, environment and society,” IMO said. The report is expected to include short-, medium- and long-term follow-up actions, including training and capacity-building initiatives, as well as operational, regulatory and policy recommendations. A pilot project is planned as a follow-up to this work, which will focus on two sizes and types of ships and consider the safety and energy aspects of onshore facilities. IMO has been addressing the safety of domestic passenger ships through greater intervention to assist member states to improve their performance. “This project with the Philippines is a pilot initiative which may be considered for delivery to other member states requiring similar assistance,” IMO said.