February 25th, 2019

House Bill aims to make Ph as a ‘Maritime Nation’

Manila, Philippines - The House of Representatives has approved a bill the “Philippine Ship Registry System Act” aims to establish the scope and procedure for Philippine Ship Registry, recognition and enforcement of maritime claims, and limitation of liability.

House Bill 9042 establishing the Philippines as a leading maritime nation and respected flag State.

Rep. Jesulito Manalo of ANGKLA party-list, principal author of the bill, said the bill aimed to help the country become more competitive and encourage more ship owners in other parts of the world to register their vessels under the Philippine flag.

“To achieve this, we first must recognize that presently, there is a lack of a particular law completely addressing the registry system in the Philippines, which has been a perennial source of confusion and disorder,” he said.

Manalo stressed it was necessary to formulate policies and rules that adhere to the global standards and maritime conventions, particularly on ship registry. He said there were only about 200 vessels registered under the Philippine flag despite the country’s being widely known to be a major supplier of global maritime professionals on board vessels in many parts of the world.

“Other countries have attracted many foreign-owned vessels to register under their flag states by reason of their simplified system of registration and the appealing incentives they offer.”

Any ship registered under the Philippine registry shall be entitled to the following: a) conferment of the nationality and status of a Philippine flag; b) entitlement to the protection of the Philippine flag; c) entitlement to the right to invoke the diplomatic, consular and naval protection of Philippine authorities;

d) imposition of the duty to fly the Philippine flag; e) obligation to abide by all the applicable laws, decrees, orders, rules and regulations of the Philippines; f) entitlement to the privilege to engage, consistently with the limitations provided by law, in Philippine coastwise trade in accordance with corollary permits, certificates and franchises that may be issued to the vessel; and

g) entitlement to the right to invoke the exercise of jurisdiction and control by Philippine government authorities over all persons found on board the vessel, or over any incident involving the penal or disciplinary responsibility of the master or any member of the crew whether the same arises from a crime or quasi delict committed on board the vessel or from any collision or other incident of navigation concerning the ship.