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MARINA pursuing modernization drive to lower cost of doing business in shipping

THE Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) said it is preparing a four-year modernization plan involving information technology upgrades which are expected to reduce the cost of doing business for its stakeholders in shipping.

“In a move to further enhance the delivery of its frontline services and to promote the ease of doing business, MARINA has commenced the preparation of a four-year road map for its information technology, which aims to modernize its equipment and facilities, integrate existing and develop new information systems, as well as automate its processes nationwide,” the agency said in a statement on Jan. 18.

MARINA said the modernization will run until 2024, complementing the goals set out in the ongoing 10-year Maritime Industry Development Plan.

It said more than 300 of its desktop computers were acquired over six years ago. “The internet connectivity in most of MARINA regional offices has relatively low bandwidth,” it added.

MARINA offices need to modernize their computers, laptops, and printers, MARINA Administrator Robert A. Empedrad said.

He cited the need to increase the speed of internet connection “for inter and intra office interface to ensure seamless, safe and secure digital transactions of stakeholders with the agency.”

Mr. Empedrad said the agency will tap funds being held on its behalf by the Philippine International Trading Corp. for the modernization plan.

In 2021, MARINA will roll out an e-payment system through the LinkBiz portal of the Land Bank of the Philippines; an online facility that allows the filing, evaluation, payment and processing of domestic shipping related applications; an online health monitoring system for seafarers, stakeholders and visitors transacting with the agency; and a centralized portal for the online help desk for MARINA stakeholders who may have concerns with the agency; among others. — Arjay L. Balinbin

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