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Ex-MARINA administrator: 21 foreign trips not ‘excessive’

Fired Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) administrator Marcial Amaro III on Friday said that his foreign trips were not excessive.

"No, not at all," Amaro said in a television interview when asked if he thought his 21 trips abroad were too many.

President Rodrigo Duterte sacked Amaro over his "excessive foreign trips," Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. announced in a press briefing in Davao City on Thursday. 

With this, Amaro said that "MARINA is an international organization. We are a specialized organization of the government that deals with international organizations."

"All the policies and programs emanate from the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and we need to discuss it quite toughly with them otherwise it’s going to affect our domestic trade," he said.

The former MARINA administrator said he had 21 total official trips, of which 6 trips were sponsored by other countries, while 15 were paid for by the government.

Amaro said that all his trips were signed by the Palace and Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade.

He said that his trips have benefitted the country.

"We are providing security for our seafarers because we should understand that there are a lot of countries who would want to get our position as the major providers of seafarers," Amaro said.

"I believe that the Palace would realize that whoever will occupy the position he/she will have to travel the same way. How can you prevent the chair to travel, it gives a better reputation about the country," he added. — Ted Cordero/MDM, GMA News