COTABATO CITY – To improve the administration and operation of sea transport in the Bangsamoro region, the Ministry of Transportation and Communication’s (MOTC) Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) hosted Saturday, Dec. 10, the first-ever maritime summit in the region.
Held in Lamitan City, Basilan, the summit aimed to solicit the ideas and insights of various stakeholders – such as shipping companies, boat owners and operators – on the regulation of registration and safety of vessels and passengers.
“Our water resources have been the center of maritime activity that have a significant impact on the economy since it is the primary means of livelihood, especially of Bangsamoro constituents who are living in the islands and coastal areas. For instance, Sibutu water is passage of huge foreign vessels on a daily routine, the seaweeds of fisherfolks in the area were damaged, thus, regulation should be imposed,” said MOTC Minister Atty. Paisalin Tago.
Tago said the summit will further intensify the security and law enforcement in relation to transportation activity.
“The purpose of this summit also is to strengthen our collaborative and coordinative efforts with other agencies of the government in order to protect our maritime resources,” Tago added.
Meanwhile in his video message, Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim said, “I commend the commitment of intensifying the operation, strengthening communication and linkages to provide efficient and reliable transportation on the seas across the BARMM region.”
“We value all sea passengers as much as we value the lives of motorists and passengers of land,” Ebrahim emphasized.
He added the summit is unique in style “which is highly valued and appropriated as increasing numbers of Bangsamoro sill prefer to travel on sea, that’s why we are challenged to be equipped and prepared for exigencies that may emerge on sea situation including security threats.”
“On behalf of the Alesson Shipping Lines company, we are grateful for having been invited on this 1st BARMM maritime summit. We are committed in this summit by implementing the maritime security laws, the safety of the passengers, the crews and also the ships. Thank you very much,” said Capt. Leonard Piatos.
Participants to the activity included local government units of Lamitan City and Basilan, personnel from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Agrarian Reform (MAFAR), Maritime Police, Philippine Coast Guards, and Members of the Parliament Atty. Jose Lorena, Hatimil Hassan, Atty. Yasser Sema, and Mosber Alauddin. (Majid Nur/BIO)