The Philippines, highlighting its maritime credentials, has launched its candidacy for a seat in the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Council for term 2024-2025.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), in a statement on Monday, said the country has been producing “competent maritime professionals” and is “one of the largest” shipbuilding countries in the world.
Elections for the IMO Council will be held during the 33rd Session of the IMO Assembly from November 27 to December 6 in London, United Kingdom.
The Department of Transportation said over 385,000 Filipino seafarers were deployed in 2022.
The DFA co-hosted with the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) a diplomatic reception last September 26 to launch the country’ s bid for the IMO Council under Category C.
The countries vying for a seat are those which have special interests in maritime transport or navigation, and whose election to the Council will ensure the representation of all major geographic areas of the world.
The event was attended by ambassadors and other diplomatic representatives of IMO member countries with embassies in Manila, the DFA said.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo, Transportation Undersecretary for the Marine Sector Elmer Francisco Sarmiento were present during the event to seek the support of IMO member-states for the Philippine bid.
“If re-elected to the IMO Council, the Philippines will continue to be a voice of developing countries and actively promote the interests of seafarers – upon whom the global maritime industry and commerce depend,” Manalo said.
Sarmiento said the Philippines represents the “largest nationality” of maritime crew serving the international maritime fleet.
“In 2021, Filipino seamen comprised the largest nationality by rank and ratings, and across all merchant cargo vessels,” Sarmiento said.
Marina’s Maritime Attache Jean Ver Pia presented an audio-visual presentation on the Philippine candidature to the IMO Council.
Manalo underscored the importance of IMO to the Philippines. “Safety at sea is particularly crucial for the Philippines as the top global source of maritime professionals,” he said in a speech.
“Ensuring the safety of Filipino seafarers through implementation of International Maritime Organization conventions and agreements is a key national interest,” he said.