SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews/14 August) – The Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) issued on Monday a show-cause order to the owner of the boat that sank on Thursday last week at the wharf here.
Charlito D. Bacang, officer-in-charge of Marina regional office said the order has been issued to the owner cum skipper of the M/L Roy Sea Star identified as Roy Acular, who is said to have gone into hiding.
The boat was carrying heavy equipment and construction materials owned by a contractor when it sank at the Boulevard Port.
Bacang said even if the boat was unregistered or undocumented the owner has to answer before Marina on Sept. 5.
He said their office will be forced to file cases against Acular and put him on the black list to bar him from getting a license and other documents from them if he fails to show up.
Last week, Sixto Chu, a contractor based in Tacloban City agreed to have his 10-wheeler dump truck, 6-wheeler dump truck and construction materials loaded into M/L Roy Sea Star. The cargoes were bound for San Jose, Dinagat province for a government project.
The boat, however, sank after the culverts, other construction materials and the 10-wheeler truck had been loaded. No one was hurt in the incident.
The six-wheeler truck would have been loaded after the 10-wheeler.
Zenmond Duque, Coast Guard Surigao station commander told MindaNews they could not determine the boat’s loading capacity because it had no registration documents.
“When the truck was loaded on the boat, the boat’s flooring cracked and gave way, sending it and its cargo into the sea,” he said.
Bacang said that based on their investigation the boat appeared to be not capable of carrying heavy equipment. He noted that it was too small for the cargo and its hull was made of plywood.
But he said they did not know the gross tonnage and loading capacity of the boat as it was undocumented.
He added the boat went missing on Monday at the Boulevard Port where it sank.
City Councilor Jose Begil Jr., chair of the committee on transportation said he will call for an investigation of the incident and the alleged proliferation of unlicensed or undocumented boats plying the routes to different islands off Surigao City.
Begil said the probe will include the alleged extortion activities of government agencies like the Coast Guard.
He added boat owners who reportedly bribe these agencies so they could carry unauthorized cargoes will also be summoned. (Roel N. Catoto/MindaNews)