Coast Guard allows 8 suspended ships to sail

MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine Coast Guard recently allowed eight passenger cargo ships to resume operations.

PCG spokesman Lieutenant Commander Algier Ricafrente said the lifting of suspension order was recommended since the ships had only minor deficiencies and were found to be in sea-worthy condition after undergoing additional International Safety Management Audits.

The ships are owned and operated by the Negros Navigation-Aboitiz Transport System Corporation (NN-ATSC).

Among the ships allowed to resume operations was MV Superferry 20 that collided with F/Bca San Jose Bayanihan in Maasim, Saranggani Province last week that resulted to the death of one fishermen.

Ricafrente said the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) also lifted the suspension order previously issued against MV Superferry 1, MV Superferry 2, MV Superferry 5, MV Superferry 12, MV Superferry 21, MV Cebu Ferry 1, and MV Cebu Ferry 2.

Cebu Ferry 3, on the other hand, was granted a special permit to navigate from the port of Jagna, Bohol to the port of Cagayan De Oro (CDO) City to undergo further inspection. The issued permit is in effect for a single voyage from November 19 to 21 unless sooner revoked or cancelled for a cause.

The PCG added that the Seafarer’s Identification Record Book (SIRB) and Qualification Document Certificates (QDC) of the Superferry 20 crew who were on safekeeping duties at the time of the collision were temporarily lifted until the ship arrives in Manila.

The SIRB and QDC of deck officers were: Captain Candido Rasonabe, Chief Officer Benjamin Damuag, 2nd officer Galileo Valendez, Auxiliary 2nd Officer Efren Tomo, Able Seaman Francis Neil Pagota, and Apprentice Mate Jaime Dela Cruz.

Appropriate charges shall also be filed against these officers and crew members.

Meanwhile, the NN-ATSC was reminded to strictly observe the existing terms and conditions set by MARINA and the PCG as stipulated in the Certificate of Public Convenience in domestic shipping.

The coast guard added that non-compliance to the NN-ATSC terms and conditions means revoking of their voyage suspension even without further notice.

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