Key information

  • Flag:Philippines Flag
  • Population:100,000,000 (approx.)
  • Coastline:Over 36,200km
  • Maritime Authority:Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA)


With thousands of islands, the Philippines relies heavily on a robust maritime industry. Approximately 98% of inter-island trade and 40 million local and foreign passengers are transported by sea. More than 25% of the world’s 1.6 million maritime professionals are Filipino.

The country’s tourism, fishing and transport industries all rely on the maritime sector. These industries boost the employment rate in the ship building and ship repair industries as well as general maritime employment.

Ports Of The Philippines

The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) manages the vast majority of the country’s ports – 230 in total. Other ports include those hosting the country’s exports which receive special tax concessions, as well as fishing ports managed by the Philippine Fisheries Development Authority (PFDA).

Flag / Port State Responsibilities

MARINA is the flag State Administration in charge of ship registration and ship inspection to ascertain conformity with safety rules and regulations.

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) enforces port State control measures and represents the country at the Tokyo Memorandum of Understanding meetings. The PCG is also the lead agency in the conduct of maritime search and rescue as it establishes arrangements for maritime distress communication monitoring, coordination and rescue within its waters.

Together with the port authorities, the PCG implements maritime traffic routing schemes or enforces restricted areas which the State is responsible and are not covered by IMO or any ship reporting systems. The PCG and port authorities also team-up in executing any reporting system or Vessel Tracking System (VTS) adopted by IMO that is within the jurisdiction of the Philippines.

Merchant Fleet

In 2018, 103 ships were engaged in international voyages, totaling 2,080,568 gross tonnes. While the country has 34,619 domestic fleets for 2017 – comprising of passenger, cargo, fishing vessels and tankers. The majority of ships in the country’s waters operate under the Philippine flag.

Laws & Regulations

MARINA plays an active role in formulating policies relating to international compliance. The Authority has spearheaded the Maritime Industry Development Program (MIDP) to promote a holistic approach in the implementation of long-term plans for the maritime industry.

Both MARINA and the PCG issue regulations governing the maritime industry, particularly in relation to ships operating in domestic waters and on subjects relating to maritime security and protection of the marine environment.

The PCG, National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA), DENR-BMB, Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) and port authorities exercise the Philippines’ rights and responsibilities under various international instruments to effectively meet and practice its international and national obligations.

International / Regional / Sub-Regional Memberships / Co-operations

  • International Maritime Organization (IMO) – Member
  • International Labour Organization (ILO) – Member
  • Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) – Member
  • AsiaPacific Heads on Maritime Safety Agencies (APHoMSA) – Member
  • Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) – Founding Member
  • Tokyo Memorandum of Understanding of Port State Control Inspection – Member

IMO Conventions and Protocols