The Philippines will formally endorse the proposed Memorandum of Understanding on Non-Conventional Sized Ships (NCSS) when the Sea Linkages Working Group of the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines – East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) meets next month, Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) chair Luwalhati Antonino said Wednesday.
“The MOU aims to formalize intra-EAGA movement of non-convention sized ships through mutual recognition and monitoring of safety standards, security requirements, environmental protection, and ship manning,” Sec. Antonino said in a statement.
The Davao City-based MinDA serves as the Philippine Coordinating office for the BIMP-EAGA.
According to Antonino, there have been some informal intra-EAGA voyages going on, but concrete data about these operations cannot be collected as of yet.
She said NCSS are traditionally not permitted to sail international voyages, but once the MOU is approved, these existing operations within EAGA borders can be readily legalized, regulated and tracked.
Antonino, who also serves as the Philippine Signing Minister to BIMP-EAGA, said that the agreement seeks to facilitate negotiations for a harmonized BIMP-EAGA non-convention sized ships standards.
During the inter-agency meeting by Philippine members of the working group, representatives reviewed the draft MOU and identified improvement areas to be presented in the BIMP-EAGA Sea Linkages Working Group meeting slated in Jakarta, Indonesia on March 1.