Sister ferry of ill-fated Maharlika 2 has ‘major deficiencies’– MARINA

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews/16 September) – The seaworthiness of a sister vessel of the ill-fated M/V Maharlika 2 has come under question and its owner was already issued a suspension order, an official of the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) in Caraga said Tuesday.

Emmanuel B. Carpio, MARINA regional director said that upon inspection audit on Sunday, M/V Mahalarlika 4 was found to have major deficiencies in as far as seaworthiness is concerned and should not be allowed to sail.

Carpio said such deficiencies of Maharlika 4, which has been plying the Surigao City-Liloan, Southern Leyte route, are ground for the cancellation of its certificate of public conveyance.

“We already issued a suspension order against the operator of this vessel,” he told MindaNews on Tuesday morning at his office.

The official said he found out at least four deficiencies of the ferry. These are the expired license of the chief marine engineer, heavy corrosion of the ship’s watertight bulkheads, incomplete checklist of machineries maintenance system, and non-functioning fire alarm system and deflection system.

“These aspects could affect the seaworthiness of the ferry,” he said.

MindaNews tried but failed to get the side of the management of PhilHarbor Ferries and Port Services Inc., operator of Maharlika 4 whose sister ferry Maharlika 2 sank off Pintuyan, Southern Leyte on Saturday.

Rescue and search teams have so far recovered eight dead bodies of passengers of Maharlika 2. An undetermined number of passengers remained missing.

At least 110 crew members and passengers had been rescued as of 1:00 p.m. Tuesday, according to Capt. Joseph Coyme, deputy district commander of the Philippine Coast Guard in Northern Mindanao. (Roel N. Catoto/MindaNews)