Modernisation of Domestic Ro-Ro Passenger Ships Operating in the Philippines


  • D. Vassalos Maritime Safety Research Centre, Department of Naval Archiecture, Ocean and Marine Engineering, University of Strathclyde. Glasgow, Scotland, UK
  • D. Paterson Sharjah Maritime Academy, Khorfakkan, UAE
  • F. Mauro Sharjah Maritime Academy, Khorfakkan, UAE
  • A. Salem Sharjah Maritime Academy, Khorfakkan, UAE



Domestic Ro-Ro Passenger Ships, Damage Stability Failure, Flooding Risk, Cost-effective Risk Control Options


This paper forms part of a wider study in the form of a Formal Safety Assessment of the domestic passenger ships operating in the Philippines, undertaken on behalf of the Philippines Government, and financed by the World Bank and the International Maritime Organisation. The paper focuses on design deficiencies of the domestic RoPax ships, primarily in damage stability. The process of ship selection for representation of the wider fleet risk assessment is explained, leading to one medium RoPax and one large RoPax, typical of some 500 of these ships, serving the open sea domestic trade in the Philippines. To this end, the selected designs have been subjected to a systematic process of damage stability and flooding risk analysis in order to identify design vulnerabilities, leading to risk estimation in the form of Potential Loss of Life. A number of risk control options have then been identified, enabling a thorough risk assessment and identification of cost effective RCOs, as well as impact assessment, using IMO risk acceptance criteria as basis. Despite the poor state of the domestic Ro-Ro passenger vessels operating in the Philippines, many of these aged, badly retrofitted, poorly maintained, and operated, it has been possible to identify cost-effective design solutions to raise the damage stability (and safety) standard of these ships to international standards of newly designed ships; it seems an unprecedented achievement, but evidently true. This presents the Philippine Government and the owners of these vessels with a unique opportunity to upgrade their domestic fleet of RoPax vessels and showcase these against the best in the world. Because of the similarity in the approach, the selection of risk control options and the overall analysis adopted, only one of the typical RoPax vessels selected is presented in this paper.




How to Cite

Vassalos, D., Paterson, D., Mauro, F., & Salem, A. (2024). Modernisation of Domestic Ro-Ro Passenger Ships Operating in the Philippines. International Marine Design Conference.

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