Bong Go

Bong Go reiterates need to ensure seaworthiness of sea vessels

April 1, 2023 People's Journal 148 views

SENATOR Christopher “Bong” Go recently reiterated the need to ensure the seaworthiness of sea vessels to prevent disasters such as oil spills, particularly in the case of the recent incident in Oriental Mindoro, and deadly ferry fire involving MV Lady Mary Joy 3 off Basilan that left 31 people dead.

Senator Go urged that the Department of Transportation, the Maritime Industry Authority and other concerned agencies should strictly implement necessary standards for sea vessels.

“Kung sino man po ang nagre-regulate ng mga barko, mga vessel, MARINA, Coast Guard, atbp., higpitan ng mabuti kung hanggang saan sila pwede na maglayag,” said Go.

The senator believes that it is essential to tighten regulations and ensure that all ships are safe for operation. He noted that reports from various agencies must be reconciled for authorities to learn from what happened.

Some indicated that the MT Princess Empress, which had capsized off the coast of Naujan town in Oriental Mindoro on February 28 and caused the oil spill, were operating with complete permits while others suggested otherwise.

“Paiba-iba po ang report ng ahensya, ‘yung iba may sinabi na kumpleto ang permits, may sinabi naman na hindi. Mapa-oil tanker o passenger vessel, mahalagang masigurong safe at kumpleto po ang mga papeles ng barko bago po ito lumayag,” he said.

Go also emphasized the need to hold those responsible for the oil spill accountable for their actions, as it has caused significant damage to the environment and affected the livelihoods and health of many residents in the affected areas.

“Gaya ng panawagan ko noon, dapat po ay mapanagot itong who caused this oil spill, napakalaking pinsala po ito sa ating mga kababayan,” said Go.

“Ngayon, ilang araw na po ang nakakaraan, marami po ang nawalan ng trabaho. So now is the time, not only sa gobyerno, tayong lahat, magtulungan tayo para maka-recover po itong mga naging biktima ng oil spill,” he added.

The Department of Tourism’s most recent assessment indicates that the oil spill has damaged 63 tourism sites and has affected approximately 1,000 tourism workers.

In a separate ambush interview in Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro on Monday, March 28, the senator welcomed the help from the private sector and other countries to aid those affected by the oil spill. Japan, for instance, has provided assistance in cleaning up the oil spill, which is greatly appreciated, according to Go. The United States has likewise committed to help in the oil spill clean up.

Meanwhile, an inaccurate manifest is making it difficult for authorities to conduct search, rescue, and retrieval operations on the MV Lady Mary Joy 3.

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said a total of 252 individuals were affected during the fire including 205 passengers, 35 crew members, eight personnel from the Army, and four from PCG.

There were 216 survivors and 29 people perished in the sea tragedy, including 11 whose remains have been identified (drowned at sea), while 18 (burned on board the vessel) still need DNA testing. Seven people were still missing.

The 33-year old MV Lady Mary Joy 3 was en route to Jolo, Sulu from Zamboanga City on March 29 when it caught fire at around 10:40 p.m.

The blaze was declared fire out at 7:30 a.m. on March 30.