Scrap ‘table survey’ of Philippine vessels, Marina urged

Robertzon Ramirez - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — A member of a Local Classification Society (LCS) that inspects ships in the domestic industry is asking the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) to look into the alleged non-physical inspection or the so-called “table survey” practice of some of its members to ensure the seaworthiness of Philippine registered ships.

Lawyer Manuel Tiuseco, president of Orient Register of Shipping Inc., said that the MARINA should eradicate the alleged illegal “table survey” of ships being practiced by some LCSs and ask the agency to conduct an audit of the ship’s file of all LCSs.

Classification societies are non-stock, non-profit organizations tasked to perform mandatory and periodical surveys of ships – both passenger and cargo – in order to ascertain their seaworthiness and ensure maritime safety in general.

Orient Register of Shipping Inc., is an accredited LCS of the MARINA.

“Survey is a comprehensive process of inspecting the ship in order to determine its actual and overall condition. Without the actual survey, the seaworthiness of the vessel is imperiled,” Tiuseco said in a two-page letter to MARINA director Bernardo Pollo.

Under the “table survey” practice, Tiuseco said that some of the LCSs are allegedly giving Philippine registered ships a go signal to trade without inspecting the ships physically – an action that needs to be addressed by the MARINA.

For its part, the MARINA has come up with proposed amendments of Memorandum Circular 165, which will serve as the guidelines for the accreditation, control and the oversight role of its accredited LCS in the country.

In his letter to Pollo, Tiuseco said that the conduct of survey is allegedly “not adequately addressed” in the proposed amended Memorandum Circular 165 of the MARINA.

To address the issue, Pollo told The STAR the MARINA opened a public consultation yesterday on the amendments of MC 165 with LCS members, private entities and some ship owners and various groups present.

During the public consultation, Pollo said all of the stakeholders have agreed to work on the proposed amendments of MC 165 as he emphasized that they all expressed confidence that it will serve as a measure to avoid negligence and other issues hounding the inspection of ships.

Pollo has refused to comment on the alleged “table survey” practice, but said that it has been addressed during the public consultation and all stakeholders have agreed to incorporate it in the recommendations and clarifications of the LCSs.

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