An eye patch, a wooden leg, and a vocabulary including “ahoy matey”, “arrr” and “shiver me timbers”, this is what some people thought how pirates are. More often than not, it’s also what most films have shown them to be. However, this is a huge misconception. Pirates are as real as it gets.
Over the years, piracy related incidents have decreased worldwide. According to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), the first quarter of 2019 has seen a decline in pirate attacks. However, this doesn’t mean seafaring companies can be complacent. There is still a need for implementing security systems as well as availing marine insurance.
IMB Director Pottengal Mukundan said, “These latest statistics from the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre are encouraging. However, first quarter statistics is too short a period on which to anticipate trends over the year.” In fact, the Philippines is still experiencing maritime threats.
United Nations (UN) Philippine Deputy Permanent Representative Christianne Azucena stressed the need to fully enact the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime. The treaty aims to promote international cooperation to ensure the safety and security of every person who travel at sea. Azucena emphasized its importance for all countries affected during a debate at the UN Security Council.
Aside from piracy, Azucena shared that the Philippines and its strategic location makes it vulnerable to international crimes involving drug and human trafficking. Furthermore, about 30% of the seafaring population are Filipinos.
A monthly report from the Regional Co-operation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) has shown a 33% decrease of piracy attacks in Asian territories. This is impressive compared to the previous year.
Although the total Philippine piracy related incidents for 2019 have yet to be known, it’s worth noting that pirate attacks in the country have doubled in 2018. It has also been found that piracy attacks on tugboats and barges at the Singapore Strait are increasing. With this in mind, all seafaring companies must remain vigilant and ensure every worker’s safety by implementing emergency drills, increasing every ship’s security systems, and availing a marine insurance. Besides, there’s nothing wrong with insuring to be sure.