MANILA – Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad on Monday officially assumed as administrator of the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), assuring the protection of Filipino seafarers’ “competitive advantage” as the primary choice in the seafaring industry.
Empedrad, through a MARINA Facebook post, said that aside from ensuring the quality of education of the country’s seafarers, the agency will focus on enhancing the morale and welfare of its employees, developing a self-reliant shipping industry, and eradicating corruption and malpractices.
In light of the current coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) outbreak, Empedrad also assured that the delivery of services will not be impeded by the measures set forth by MARINA in the shipping industry.
“Empedrad assures the public that the delivery of services shall not be impeded but with primary consideration to the safety and protection of both MARINA personnel and clients,” he said.
In a message, former MARINA Administrator Vice Admiral Narciso Vingson, Jr. said he has officially transferred the leadership of MARINA to his fellow retired Philippine Navy officer.
“I have relinquished MARINA to VADM Robert Empedrad effective today, 16 March 2020. He is a fellow Navy Officer who retired last February as the Flag Officer in Command of the Philippine Navy,” Vingson said.
On Friday, the MARINA announced new stringent measures on the maritime sector meant to protect seafarers, Philippine-flagged ships, and the agency’s workforce from the respiratory disease.
The measurers include calling for enhanced hygiene of seafarers, doubling of precautionary measures during pre-boarding as well as when on board, as well as promoting the agency’s online application portal for processing seafarers and shipping applications. (ia/sovereingph.com/PNA)