The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) is pleased to report that the Philippines has been reelected to the Council of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) under Category C for the 2018-2019 biennium.

The election was held on 01 December 2017 during the 30th Session of the IMO Assembly (A30) at the IMO Headquarters in London. The reelection to the Council, which is the Executive Organ of the IMO and is responsible for supervising the work of the Organization, provides the Philippines an opportunity to strongly participate in the drafting of new rules and regulations for the industry.

The IMO Council is composed of a total of 40 Member States: 10 Member States under Category A, 10 Member States under Category B, and 20 Member States under Category C. Of the 160 votes cast under Category C, there were 159 valid votes and 1 invalid vote. The Philippines came in at 11th place out of the 24 candidates under Category C, earning 124 votes.

Permanent Representative to the IMO and member of the Philippine Delegation to A30, Gilberto Asuque, stated that: “The election of the Philippines in the Council could be seen as global support for its work in the IMO towards promoting the interest, safety and welfare of seafarers through safer ships. The Philippines is a major source-country of seafarers for the global maritime fleet providing some 30% of the total manpower complement of commercial ships on international routes. Our advocacy for seafarers has been the fundamental purpose for Philippine participation in the work of the IMO pursuant to the foreign policy of promoting the interest of the overseas Filipino worker.”

In his statement delivered to the Assembly before the elections, the Administrator of MARINA and member of the Philippine Delegation to A30, Marcial Q.C. Amaro III, PhD, highlighted that the Philippine candidature to the Council is predicated on three concepts:

1. A commitment to work with the IMO and all […] the member states in achieving the goals of making safer ships that traverse secure and cleaner oceans and preserve the sustainability of the fragile marine environment.

2. A desire to serve, in the same manner that our seafarers have continued to serve and man ships all over the world, and in an equal manner that the Philippines has served as the fourth largest shipbuilding nation.

3. An cooperation in lending our expertise and support in achieving UN goalsthe millennium development goals and now the new 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, not just on reducing the impacts of climate change and the conservation and sustainable use of the oceans, seas, and marine resources, but more importantly in achieving the other goals of gender equality and partnering with institutions and engaging with others in achieving all the UN goals.

H.E. Ambassador Antonio M. Lagdameo, Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines, London, as Head of the Philippine delegation lent his strong support to the Philippine candidature to the IMO Council. Also present were representatives from other departments and other government agencies: Assistant Secretary Bayani Mercado from DFA-United Nations and International Organizations (DFA-UNIO); Assistant Secretary Lourdes Yparraguirre from DFA-Maritime and Ocean Affairs Office (DFAMOAO); and Undersecretary Marah Victoria Querol, Chief of Staff, from the Office of the Executive Secretary, Office of the President.