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Marina denies allegations of withholding vessel

Marina denies allegations of withholding vessel
Yashika F. Torib January 5, 2022

The Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) denied and clarified allegations that it withheld the departure of a vessel loaded with generator sets bound for Cebu.

This is after Cebu governor Gwendolyn Garcia claimed that the agency intervened with the departure of MV Fastcat M16. The ship will transport 35 units of 5KVA generator sets that the provincial government purchased for areas affected by Typhoon Odette. It was supposed to arrive on December 23.

The vessel only arrived on December 26. Marina denied said allegations in an official statement, saying that the said mercy ship bound for Cebu "applied for Special Permit on the evening of December 21 and was immediately issued said permit on December 22, upon satisfying all ship safety requirements."

"This is contrary to the claim of a local official in the Visayas who alleged that the Agency has withheld the application of a Special Permit filed in its Regional Office in Batangas, as reported by various media outlets," Marina said.

It was reported that MV Fastcat M16 was at the Navotas shipyard at the time of application. As such, a safety inspection was immediately conducted and an appropriate ship safety certificate including the required special permit to load cargoes bound for Cebu City and elsewhere in the country was issued by MARINA in less than 24 hours.

"Marina, in compliance with the directive of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and upon the guidance of Department of Transportation Secretary Art Tugade, has been consistent in ensuring that ships are made available for the carriage of relief goods and equipment intended for that hardest-hit by Super Typhoon Odette, and for the transport of individuals and first responders to the various affected islands of the archipelago," the agency said in a statement.

"Marina remains steadfast in its resolve to act swiftly on applications for special permits for mercy missions in the Visayas and Northern Mindanao while ensuring that ships granted such Special Permits possess the required seaworthiness to sail," it concluded.