THE Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) said its shipping modernization plan will limit the service life of vessels to 30 years at most, to ensure that the domestic fleet is regularly renewed with new ships.

It announced a maximum age for steel ships of 30 years; wooden-hulled ships 20 years; and motor bancas five years.

The fleet renewal rules are among the initiatives it is pursuing under the 2028 Maritime Industry Development Plan (MIDP).

On Tuesday, Marina said President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. approved updates to the 10-year MIDP.

“Marina recognizes the crucial role of the MIDP in charting the course towards a robust and sustainable maritime sector. The plan’s focus on enhancing the Philippine Merchant Fleet, expanding domestic and overseas shipping industries, and promoting a skilled maritime workforce aligns perfectly with our goals of economic growth and global competitiveness,” Marina said in a statement on Tuesday.

The MIDP lays down the framework for upgrading the merchant fleet and expanding the domestic and international shipping industries, Marina said.

The updated MIDP also contains plans to modernize and expand shipbuilding and the ship repair industry and the enhancement of maritime transport safety and security.

“These initiatives will not only propel the growth of the maritime sector but also contribute to the overall welfare of our citizens and the protection of our marine resources,” Marina said.

Marina is tasked with establishing additional domestic sea routes and shipping services. As of 2022, 181 Roll-On, Roll-Off services have been established under the Philippine Nautical Highway System.

On the condition of vessels, Marina said ships of excess age “shall be automatically de-listed from the Philippine registry. The operators of ships that have reached the maximum allowable age shall have the option to have their ships classed, replaced with classed ships, or retired without replacement,” it said.

Marina has also included plans for port and road rehabilitation and improvement; development of coastal and inland waterways transport systems, and the development of shipping services for tourist destination areas. — Ashley Erika O. Jose