Marcos Jr. administration

Who is Sonia Malaluan, new MARINA chief?

Dwight de Leon

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Who is Sonia Malaluan, new MARINA chief?

CHIEF. New Maritime Industry Authority Administrator Sonia Bautista Malaluan.


Sonia Malaluan has been with MARINA for over three decades, and has worn many hats – chief accountant, regional director, maritime attaché in London, deputy administrator – before getting the top job

MANILA, Philippines – President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. named Sonia Bautista Malaluan, a career official who worked her way up the ladder at the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), as the new administrator of the agency.

She replaced Hernani Fabia, who resigned earlier in December after more than a year of service in MARINA.

An accountant by profession.

According to the Presidential Communications Office, which announced her appointment on Friday, December 15, Malaluan graduated from the Western Philippine College in 1987 with a degree in commerce.

A certified public accountant (CPA), she earned her master’s degree in shipping management at the World Maritime University in Sweden in 1998.

She returned to school in 2010, and obtained her master’s degree in public administration at the Lee Kwan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore’s National University in 2011.

Malaluan has held numerous roles in MARINA.

The MARINA website said Malaluan has been with the agency for over three decades.

Malaluan has worn numerous hats since then: chief accountant, regional director for Metro Manila, maritime attaché in London, and, for a brief period, overall officer-in-charge.

“[She] played a major role in several MARINA organizational changes, including the development and issuance of related implementing policies, rules and regulations, as well as the crafting of the MARINA Roadmap for the development of the country’s domestic shipping industry, as part of the 10-year Maritime Industry Development Program,” a MARINA press release from June 2022 read.

In November 2022, Marcos appointed her Deputy Administrator for Planning.

When she held that role, Malaluan tried to allay seafarers’ fears that they would lose their jobs on European Union-flagged vessels due to the Philippines’ failure to meet the training requirements set by the European Maritime Safety Agency.

Advocate for women empowerment.

A resume uploaded to the MARINA website notes she is a member of the Women in Maritime Association. The WIMA website listed her as its treasurer at one point.

She was also president of the Philippines sub-chapter of WIMA. –

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Dwight de Leon

Dwight de Leon is a multimedia reporter who covers President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the Malacañang, and the Commission on Elections for Rappler.