THE Philippines got reelected to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Council at the close of the recent 33rd IMO Assembly in London, with Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista describing the country’s reelection as a testament to the crucial role the Philippines plays in global shipping and in the international maritime community.
The Philippines ranked 7 receiving 4th most number of votes out of the 20 countries that were elected Friday, Dec. 1 (London time) to the Council under Category C for the year 2024-2025 biennium – the highest number of votes received by the Philippines since becoming IMO Council member in 1989. A total of 171 IMO member-states attended the Assembly, 168 of which were qualified to vote and 136 voted for the Philippines to remain in the Council.
The Philippines was President of 32nd Assembly and the country became an IMO member in 1964.
The Filipino delegation was led by Bautista and Philippine Ambassador to the United Kingdom Teodoro Locsin, Jr.
“We are grateful for the support of representatives from the Transport Department, Foreign Affairs Department, Philippine embassy in the United Kingdom, MARINA, Philippine Coast Guard, Philippine Ports Authority and other private sector representatives,” said Bautista.
In campaigning for re-election, Sec. Bautista said: “We believe our re-election will allow us to continue contributing to the global maritime industry, not just as top provider of top-caliber seafarers but also at promoting safe and secure shipping operations, geared towards growth, modernization, resiliency and sustainability.”
On the sidelines of the assembly, Bautista signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Saudi Arabia (KSA) Transport Minister Saleh Al Jasser on the continued recognition by KSA on the training certificates of Filipino seafarers.
The MOU will generate additional employment opportunities for Filipino seafarer and promote platforms for technical cooperation.
After signing the MOU, Bautista expressed the “deepest gratitude of the Philippine government “to the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for their continuous trust and confidence to Filipino seafarers and in the Philippine maritime. administration.”
Meanwhile, Bautista also met with ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to discuss pertinent issues, including the progress and development of transport systems in their respective countries.