PCG urges public to stop patronizing ‘colorum’ vessels

Published July 30, 2018, 8:43 PM

by Roel Tibay

By Betheena Kae Unite

Avoid hiring colorum vessels that pose risks to the safety of passengers, the Philippine Coast Guard urged Monday following a sea mishap involving an unmarked vessel carrying 12 persons in Capiz.

Colorum vessels, according to the Coast Guard,, are not under their supervision and monitoring. This means when a sea mishap occurred involving an unregistered vessel, “it will be hard for the PCG to find the distressed vessel and render rescue operation.”

“Wala kaming way to monitor. So in case of mishap hirap kami to find out and conduct rescue. Hindi sila dumadaan sa Coast Guard para magpa-check (We have no way to monitor [them]. So in case of mishap, it will be hard for us to find out and conduct rescue. They bypassed the PCG and are not checked.) But we can sanction them,” PCG spokesman Capt. Armand Balilo said.

The organization prompted to remind the riding public after an incident on Sunday afternoon, where an undocumented boat carrying 12 persons, including two crew members, sank 200 meters southwest off Light Station Culasi Point in Roxas City, Capiz.

A report from Coast Guard showed that at 3:50 p.m. Victor Hablo, of Barangay Culasi reported to Coast Guard Station Capiz that an unmarked motorboat was sinking off Light Station Culasi.

A rescue team was immediately deployed to conduct response operations.

When rescue team arrived at the area, the vessel was already half-submerged.

The passengers and two crew members were rescued and transferred to fishing vessel “San Juan.”

The authorities identified the rescued individuals as Zaldy Anda, 40, the skipper; Thor Agelos, 25, crew member; Roly Bayeta, 39; Niño Pabanes, 25; Francisco Cabarte, 33; Jay Castañeda, 32; Emsi Seberano, 26; Jean Salvarico, 28; Michelle Martinez, 27; Jesus Ziban, 33; Joemari Macario, 24; and Weljohn Seberano, 32.

It was learned that the unmarked boat was hired by Jesus Ziban, one of the passengers, for a trip to Tuwad Island in Roxas City from People’s Park in Barangay Baybay, Roxas City.

Investigation showed that while they were transiting back to People’s Park, the boat was battered by big waves and strong winds causing it to capsize and started to sink.

The distressed boat was later towed to Culasi Port. Its owner and the captain will be charged appropriately, the Coast Guard said.

Last year, a numbering system called Safety Security and Environmental Numbering System, was implemented covering all vessels and watercrafts in the country.

Under the scheme, all water crafts plying the Philippines territorial waters, if not bearing the identified markings or numbering, will be considered suspicious and will be apprehended.

The PCG also said the numbering system is also aimed to eliminate the escape plans of terrorists and kidnap-for-ransom bandits in the country.