WMU Delegation Visits Philippines in Conjunction with Domestic Ferry Safety and Energy Efficiency Study

A delegation from the World Maritime University (WMU) was in the Philippines from 14 to 18 November in relation to the consultation and assessment elements of the Study to Address Safety and Energy Efficiency of Domestic Passenger Ships in the Philippines. The year-long project is funded by the World Bank Group (WBG), the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme (ITCP). 

The WMU delegation was led by Professor Jens-Uwe Schröder-Hinrichs and included Professor Aykut Ölcer, Assistant Professor Anish Hebbar, and researchers Dr Serdar Yildiz and Dr Seyedvahid Vakili. Discussions were held with representatives of the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), the Philippine Ports Authority, the Philippine Coast Guard and shipowner representatives to validate the findings and recommended risk control and mitigation options addressing the safety and energy efficiency of domestic passenger ships in the archipelago. The delegation and representatives from the IMO and World Bank also presented the findings of the project to the Honourable Secretary of Transportation, Jaime Bautista, and the Undersecretary for Maritime Mr Elmer Francisco Sarmiento. The visit also afforded the opportunity for the delegation to meet with many WMU and IMLI graduates working in the maritime sector of the Philippines. 

Participation in the project supports WMU’s commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, particularly UN SDGs 7, 8, 9, 13, 14 and 17. The maritime research portfolio of WMU, in particular the expertise in Maritime Safety and Maritime Energy Management research priority areas, directly supports the far-reaching and impactful goals of this milestone project. 

About the Project

The goal of the Study to Address Safety and Energy Efficiency of Domestic Passenger Ships in the Philippines is to identify gaps and map out the way forward for domestic passenger ships in the Philippines. The project team includes experts from WMU, the University of Strathclyde, and national stakeholders from the Philippines alongside national consultants - coordinated by the Philippines Marine Industry Authority (MARINA). 

The Philippines relies heavily on domestic shipping for inter-linking its 7,641 islands and a population of more than a hundred million. Shipping plays an important role in the Philippines economy in terms of tourism and logistics and more than 80% of Filipinos travel by ferries with passenger shipping being one of the most important transport modes. The project supports the country’s climate commitments through the reduction of GHG emissions from its domestic fleet. In terms of safety, the study utilizes IMO’s Formal Safety Assessment (FSA) methodology. A report with recommendations covering operational, regulatory, policy and modification solutions is expected to be released by the end of January 2023, marking the end of the project.   

The report is expected to include short-, medium- and long-term follow-up actions potentially including training and capacity-building initiatives, as well as operational, regulatory and policy recommendations. The study is a pilot initiative which may be considered for delivery to other Member States requiring similar assistance. 

It also aims to identify safe and green corridors where design and modification solutions can be tested. The intent is to collate more accurate data on cost, capacity and effectiveness, whilst also assessing the impact of any planned solutions on the country’s economy, the environment and on Philippine society. A pilot project is planned as a follow-up to this year’s work. It will focus on two sizes and types of ships while considering the safety and energy aspects of onshore facilities. 

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