The Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) has issued security guidelines for all ships calling at Mindanao ports in light of the imposition of martial law there and the ongoing crisis in Marawi City.
President Rodrigo Duterte imposed martial law on all of Mindanao on May 23, after the Maute group, which identifies with the global Islamic State terrorist organization, attacked Marawi City in Lanao del Sur.
In its advisory 2017-13, Marina said, “In light of the foregoing, this Authority is directing all companies/shipowners/operators of Philippine registered ships to issue a notice of warning to their Masters and crew to exercise extreme caution and take precautionary measures while calling in all ports of Mindanao which are on Security Alert Level 3 status.”
The advisory added that all concerned should observe, comply with, and implement the provisions of the International Ship and Port facility Security code (ISPS code) pertaining to Security Alert Level 3.
The ISPS code was developed after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, and implemented in July 2004. Under the code there are three threat levels, with Level 3 or “Imminent Danger” being the highest.
Some of the measures to be implemented on board ships under Security Alert Level 3 include halting or minimizing to what is only absolutely necessary any ship or port activities; maintaining only one point of entry/exit for the ship while in port; taking on fuel only from the water side of the ship while in port; and keeping the engine ready at all times for departure.
Marina also reminded shipping companies to report any suspicious activity in their area to the relevant maritime law enforcement authorities.