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To determine any violation: Show cause order eyed against shipping firm

Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon (The Freeman) - March 14, 2017 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - An official of the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina)-13 will recommend to its Cebu counterpart the issuance of a show cause order to Cebu-based Medallion Transport Inc. (MTI) to determine if the shipping company has not violated the terms and conditions of its franchise.

This, after MARINA-13 Regional Director Emmanuel "Bobby" Carpio, issued last March 11, 2017 a suspension of the safety certificate on one of MTI's vessels, MV Our Lady of Love.

Carpio said that the vessel left Cebu City last Friday and arrived in Surigao City only around 5:30 a.m. when it was supposed to arrive at 4:00 a.m. last Saturday, March 11.

Carpio said that they learned later that one of the vessel’s four main engines reportedly got damaged.

Based on their inspection, Carpio said the captain is not qualified to man the ship, since he is only a second mate, not a chief mate as required under MARINA Circular on Minimum Safe Manning.

In the circular, vessels travelling more than eight hours and above from its point of origin to destination must be manned by a chief mate.

"Dapat chief mate dili second mate kay sobra sa eight hours ang biyahe sa barko gikan sa Cebu City to Surigao City," said Carpio.

MTI Vice President for Operation Pio Fulache denied their vessel committed any violation, saying that the ship’s engines were functioning during the voyage but was travelling at a slower speed.

"Wa man gyud ni undang ang dagan sa barko pero nihinay lang mao nga medyo na late og abot. Wa man gyud naguba ang usa sa mga engines, naluag lang. Di man pwede i-repair ang makina samtang mag dagan," said Fulache.

He said that instead of travelling at 14 knots, the vessel travelled at 11 knots.

As to the qualification of their ship captain, Fulache said that the vessel travelled in less than eight hours, thus a second mate was already enough to comply with the MARINA Circular.

MV Our Lady of Love travelled for the first time to Surigao City last March 8 and 9 without encountering any problem after it underwent a mandatory drydocking last December.

"There is no such thing as a perfect engine," said Fulache, whose vessel was carrying 40 passengers at the time of the incident.

Yesterday, after the inspection of the 2,435 gross tonnage vessel, Carpio lifted the suspension of the vessel's safety certificate. (FREEMAN)

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