Minor and major ports in the country will now be more secured and guarded following the accreditation of the National Maritime Safety and Security Agency ( NAMSSA ) for Domestic Maritime Security by Department of Transportation Office for Transportation Security (DOTr-OTS).
NAMSSA is the first Recognized Security Organization (RSO) in the Philippines that has a capability to do the Maritime Intelligence Risk Suite ( MIRS ) that can track all vessels, ports , weather, and any security risk via satellite and is connected to the Global Integrated Shipping Information System ( GISIS) of International Maritime Organization (IMO). IMO is a specialized agency of the United Nations that is responsible for measures to improve the safety and security of international shipping and to prevent marine pollution from ships.
NAMSSA Director General Capt. Jesser Cordova, said that they are fully willing to support OTS under the Duterte Administration to verify compliance ,inspect/ audit all ports, ships, shipping companies under the directive and authorization of OTS under the leadership of OTS administrator Undersecretary Arturo M. Evangelista.
Cordova, a seasoned merchant Marine Officer said “right now is the perfect timing to do audit and inspection of all ships, ports, shipyard and shipping companies for the fact that the current Administration is focusing on the war on drugs, illegal trade and most of all the safety and security of the maritime transportation that involves people, environment, asset , reputation and sustainability.”
NAMSSA will be available 24/7 to scrutinize the ports, shipping companies and shipyard aimed to elevate the standard of the maritime security set up of the country.
To secure the safety and security of all of the passengers and all port operations to deter any threat of terrorism, drug proliferation and any illegal activities will be our top priority, Cordova said.
The trade of illegal drugs doesn’t only happen in the streets. Our airport is equipped with the scanners and they are doing well against. It’s time now to focus on our Maritime security assessments and security plans in our sprawling seas, since we are an archipelagic country and 90 % of the trade is carried by ships, Cordova added.
He also explained that NAMSA’s goal is to set up secured seas and ports by 2020 by installing a standardized system in all Maritime ports, shipyards and ships as per International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code. ISPS Code is an amendment to the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention on minimum security arrangements for ships, ports and government agencies. ISPS code, International Maritime Organization Convention, and the National Transportation Security Program for maritime.