PCG-7, shipping industry stakeholders to ink deal to ensure maritime safety in Cebu, Bohol

By: Rosalie O. Abatayo September 02,2019 - 07:10 PM

Philippine Coast Guard District Central Visayas (PCGDCV) holds a maritime safety forum with at least 211 motorboat and ship operators from Cebu and Bohol provinces on Monday afternoon, September 2. | Rosalie Abatayo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Philippine Coast Guard District Central Visayas (PCG-7) is set to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with maritime regulators and stakeholders for a collaborative effort in ensuring maritime safety, particularly in Cebu and Bohol.

The MOU was agreed upon during a meeting with Commodore Ronnie Gil Gavan, PCG-7 commander, and 211 motorboat and shipping line operators  from the provinces of Cebu and Bohol and representatives from the Department of Tourism (DOT-7),  Cebu Port Authority (CPA), and the Maritime Industry Authority in Central Visayas (Marina-7).

The meeting convened by Gavan discussed the issues on the safety of maritime transportation.

Read more: 22 rescued from a troubled ship docked at Consuelo port on Camotes Island

Gavan then set a 10-day deadline for the concerned agencies and the other stakeholders to sign an MOU for their commitment to exert their own efforts to strictly enforce maritime rules such as Marina-7’s ban on evening travel for motorboats and the overloading law.

“We will just enforce the law. There is the law [against] overloading, and we have to implement it because the law itself is already a product of a compromise,” Gavan said as he addressed questions of the possible reaction of truckers with strict anti-overloading implementation.

Gavan also said PCG-7 would also be active in endorsing to the concerned agencies the issues on maritime travel that would be under their their jurisdiction.

Read more: Coast Guard team checks troubled ship at Camotes port: No oil spill

Last Saturday, August 31, a roll-on/roll-off (Roro) vessel tilted sideways, ending up partially submerged at a port on Camotes Island.

A motorboat operator cited during the open forum of the meeting that perhaps a factor that could have led to the incident might be the state of the ramp of the port which he claimed to be not balanced.

Gavan, for his part, said that he would task the Camotes Station of the PCG-7 to look into it and endorse the report to the CPA for proper action.

Lieutenant Junior Grade Michael John Encina, PCG-7 spokesperson, said the forum with the maritime stakeholders would also serve as a reminder for the operators to abide with all the rules of the sea travel in order to observe safety for the passengers and their cargo clients./dbs

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