Sta. Fe govt wants probe on vessels
The Sta. Fe municipal government called on the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) to investigate the absence of septic tanks in sea vessels plying the route from the mainland to Bantayan Island.
Sta. Fe Mayor Jose Esgana said a team from the Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office and the town’s sanitary inspector checked the vessels of Island Shipping and Super Shuttle in November last year and found that they have no septic tanks.
“There were complaints from resort owners and residents about human waste floating along the shore,” he told Cebu Daily News in a telephone interview yesterday.
Esgana said the wastes may have come from the sea vessels docked in the area.
The mayor knew about the inspection before Holy Week last month but it was only yesterday that he saw it himself along with some Cebu reporters.
Island Shipping Corp. has six vessels plying daily trips from the Hagnaya port in Daanbantayan, northern Cebu, to Bantayan island while Super Shuttle Ferry of Asian Marine Transport Corp. (ATMC), has three vessels assigned there.
Capt. Medel Gomez of the Island Shipping-operated Land Transportation Carrier II admitted that the vessel and five others operated by the shipping company did not have septic tanks.
But he said they acquired a ship sanitation exemption certificate from the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ).
CDN tried to reach Island Shipping Corp. but calls made to its office were left unanswered.
AMTC President Paul Rodriguez said his ships have “sewage tanks.”
He said all small sea vessels, not only in Hagnaya, don’t have “septic tanks” since there’s no processing facility.
Rodriguez said human waste is biodegradable and Esgana should be more concerned about the non-biodegradable waste found along Sta. Fe town’s shorelines./Correspondent Victor Anthony V. Silva.
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