QUEZON CITY, Sept. 27 (PIA) - Despite the debilitating effect of the COVID-19 pandemic in the maritime industry, it has never stopped, or in any weaken its stand to engage in game-changing initiatives, Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade said during the 3rd day of the Maritime Industry Symposium held on September 25.
"The country's maritime sector took the challenge as an opportunity to undertake THREE I's: Initiate, Innovate, and Invest," Secretary Tugade said
For the first "I," which stands for Initiate, Tugade explained that the Department together with its attached agencies-the Office for Transportation Security (OTS), Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), Philippine Coast Goard (PGC) and Philippine Ports Authority (PPA - has activated crew changes hubs in the country, in order to address the global need to support seafarers, amid restrictions that were implemented during the pandemic.
These crew changes hubs are located in Manila, Bataan, and Subic. Soon to be activated as crew change hubs are the ports of Batangas, Cebu, and Davao.
The second "I," which stands for "Innovate," are the various technology-based initiatives being implemented by the attached agencies of the DOTr, such as the unified electronic ticketing system recently launched by the PPA, to speed-up reservation and payment of tickets.
For the third "I' which is Invest, Tugade said that even before the pandemic, the DOTr has already invested in the maritime sector to provide mobility and connectivity long-deserved by the Filipino people and has focused on investing on infrastructure projects to lay the foundation for enhanced mobility and connectivity. (VQR/PIA-IDPD with information from DOTr).