Saturday, November 10, 2007

Marina warns to impose sanction vs shipping companies that disregard safety, sanitary requirements

MARITIME Industry Authority (MARINA) Regional Director Atty. Marianito D. Mendoza issued a stern warning against all shipping owners plying Benoni-Guinsiliban-Balingoan routes to comply with the safety and sanitary requirements of their vessels otherwise they will be slapped with a “cease and desist order.”

He made this warning during a recent meeting with all shipping representatives along with local officials, representatives from Philippine Ports Authority and Philippine Coast Guard at the Mahinog Sangguniang Bayan Session Hall in Mahinog town, Camiguin.

This developed after the provincial government of Camiguin and the municipal government of Mahinog called the attention of MARINA and PPA to check the poor sanitary and safety condition of all ferry boats plying between Camiguin and Balingoan ports, as well as the rush behavior of porters in boarding docking vessels.

In the same meeting, MARINA inspectors reported they have found various deficiencies of all the vessels of Asian Marine Transport, Philstone, Hijos, and Pepita Lines ranging from non-functional fire equipment, lack of distress signal, voice tape safety measures, radar and GPS, to poorly maintained toilet facilities and navigational equipment, as well as non-compliance of accessibility law and non-observance of proper working uniform and class certificate among ship personnel.

“We will not hesitate to exercise our mandate against shipping companies who continue to disregard the requirements,” Mendoza warned.

He also urged shipping owners to improve their services and do their part to promote Camiguin tourism.

“The drive for tourism of this beautiful island-province of Camiguin will be in vain if your vessel is dirty and unsafe,” Mendoza stressed.

Camiguin is part of President Arroyo’s Super Regions blue print for development to boost tourism and spur jobs generation and livelihood in the countryside.

On the other hand, Valiente D. Camay, Benoni PPA terminal manager, also vowed to implement a systematic and orderly procedure for all porters and passengers when embarking and disembarking a vessel calling the port of Benoni.

Earlier, Mayor Alex R. Jajalla ordered the relocation and proper arrangement of sidewalk vendors in Benoni Port, which only created public eyesore and hampered the flow of traffic in the port vicinity.

The measure is part of the Lex’s Clean Mahinog program vigorously undertaken by the municipal government of Mahinog. (Homer R. Jajalla/Mahinog Information Office/PIA-Camiguin i-Net)

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