The Philippines has been re-elected for a two-year term to the United Nations’ (UN) International Maritime Organization (IMO) Council, which is in charge of maritime safety, security and environmental protection, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said on Monday.
The country received 124 out of 160 votes under the council’s Category C on December 1, placing 13th out of the 20 elected IMO member-states with special interests in maritime transport or navigation. It ranked 18th under the same category in 2015.
Joining the Philippines in the category are Bahamas, Belgium, Chile, Cyprus, Denmark, Egypt, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kenya, Liberia, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Peru, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand and Turkey.
According to the IMO website, the council is the organization’s executive organ and is responsible, under the assembly, for supervising the work of the organization. The council performs all the assembly’s function in between sessions, except for making recommendations to governments on maritime safety and pollution prevention.
Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) Administrator Al Amaro said the fact the Philippines was re-elected and scored a higher position this time can be attributed to the “strong and progressive image of the Philippines under the leadership of President Rodrigo Duterte and the good reputation of Filipino seafarers to worldwide maritime operations.”
“The Philippines winning a slot in this prestigious international maritime council is not only a victory for the DOTr, but [also]for Filipino seafarers, the entire Philippines, and for all of us Filipinos,” he added.
According to government data, Filipino seafarers make up more than 25 percent of 1.5 million mariners worldwide. Through their remittances, they contribute an estimated $5.575 billion to the Philippine economy.