MARINA revokes certificate of shipping firm responsible for oil spill

The Maritime Industry Authority-National Capital Region (NCR) has revoked the Certificate of Public Convenience of RDC Reield Marine Services, Inc. (RDC), the shipping company that owns and operates the sunken MT Princess Empress.

The decision, contained in a resolution dated May 11, 2023, was based on the finding that the company operated the Princess Empress without proper authority.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has also initiated an inquiry into the possible culpability of personnel from the relevant maritime authorities concerning the sinking of the Princess Empress, which caused a massive oil spill.

Serious concerns have been raised regarding the seaworthiness of the vessel.

“Also, despite not being authorized to operate, the vessel was able to sail for at least 17 times before it sank on 28 February 2023,” the DOTr said in a statement.

“We have had sinkings before, but no one has been held accountable. This time, all parties, whether private or public, will be held responsible. There will be no exceptions,” DOTr Secretary Jaime Bautista said.

“Our policy is zero tolerance for shortcuts, official negligence, and disregard for rules. The rule of law, good governance, and best practices must prevail throughout the department and its agencies,” said Bautista.

Following this development, the MARINA-NCR is now conducting an investigation into Orient Registry Shipping Incorporated, Navis Engineering and Marine Services, and Reyeld Townsite Shipyard Corp.

These entities have been identified as potential parties involved in the incident, as initial findings indicate non-compliance with approved standards and pertinent MARINA circulars.

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