Improving Shipping Industry; (Speech Delivered at the Induction of the Association of the International Shipping Lines, Inc. (AISL) Board of Directors in Malate, Manila on February 26, 2007.)

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Byline: Secretary LEANDRO R. MENDOZA Department of Transportation and Communications

IT is a pleasure to be with you on this auspicious occasion - the induction of the new AISL Board of Directors that will pursue to establish and perpetuate amiable relations and closer cooperation between and among your member shipping lines and will spearhead in the effective representation of the liner trade industry with external entities particularly the government.

The Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC) recognizes the important role of the maritime transport sector as a potent tool to rehabilitate our economy. The DoTC also realizes that we must be able to optimize the potentials of the Philippines as a maritime country. To do this, we need to focus on its needs to enable it to transform the Philippines into a vibrant economy, a dream we have so long desired to achieve and make come true.

The need to improve the present status of present status of the shipping industry of the country is imperative as the shipping business plays a critical role in the socio-economic status of our country. In fact, our seaborne trade - both local and international account for almost 90 percent of our trading.

Hence, the demands of increasing globalization have attached a high premium to the fast, economical and efficient transportation of goods and resources. Fast breaking development in international trade has impacted greatly on the maritime sector. Because of the growing needs of containerized trade volumes, the trend has been toward bigger ships - as against more sailing - in the shipping market.

Also, the convergence of technologies that was brought about by the rapid advancement in information technology, have significantly influenced our shipping environment. Modern Communications are also changing the way we transact business and in transporting our goods. With these developments in the maritime transportation sector, shippers are now looking forward to work more collaboratively with their service providers and deploy leading edge processes and technologies to reduce transport costs.

Nevertheless, in order to face these rapid developments and exacting needs in the maritime transport sector, we in the DoTC, through the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) and Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), have undertaken vigorous steps toward providing adequate infrastructure and policy support to make maritime transport more efficient and cost-effective in conveying services, goods and resources across the Philippines and the world.

For the past years, the DoTC has been pursuing the development of the country's transportation and communications to further boost the economy and create an effective transportation network to communicate with our foreign counterparts. …