Maritime week poses challenge-A A +A
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
THE Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) is spearheading this year’s National Maritime Week from Sept. 24-30 with the challenge to improve measures that could guarantee safety of passengers and cargoes at sea.
The celebration is being observed by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), a maritime policy-making body of the United Nations. The theme this year is “100 years after Titanic, lessons from the past maritime disasters.”
In a press conference, Commodore William Melad of the PCG Central Visayas Command, said they have recommended to the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) the amendment of a memorandum circular that tasked PCG to prevent vessels of
1,000 gross tonnage and below to sail during typhoon signal No. 1.
He said that if signal No. 1 is raised and Pagasa will say the typhoon will actually come in the next 36 hours, vessels plying short distances such as the Cebu City-Tagbilaran City and the Cebu City-Tubigon, Bohol routes might be allowed to sail at the discretion of the local coast guard commander.
Melad said the proposed amendment of the circular has been submitted to public hearings and is now pending for approval by DOTC.
The maritime week celebration is supported by the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina), Cebu Port Authority (CPA) and Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) which are all attached with DOTC.
Melad said ensuring the seaworthiness of vessels must be the effort of all government agencies concerned.
The celebration is aimed to promote maritime safety for travelers and the public in general.
“The promotion of the seaworthiness of the vessels must be like the cycle of human being, from womb to tomb. Making sure of the seaworthiness of the vessels must start from its construction, with a periodic inspection during its operation,” Melad said.
In the past several years, Marina has been tasked to organize the week-long celebration under Proclamation No. 157, but it is now passed on to the PCG, which is deputized by Marina to enforce maritime laws.
Joining the opening of the maritime week yesterday are various stakeholders in government and private sector such as maritime schools, shipping lines, among others.
At 7 a.m. today, Melad said the PCG with stakeholders will conduct “Scubasurero” to clean up the sea.
“Cleaning the sea is a bottleneck in raising consciousness to the people that it’s bad to throw garbage to the sea because it can damage the environment,” Melad said.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 25, 2012.