By Betheena Unite
After having its supposed dredging operation suspended, foreign vessel MV Emerald’s anchorage permit has also been canceled by the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) Thursday.
In a letter addressed to the Singapore-based vessel, which was reportedly manned by Chinese and Indonesians, the PPA canceled its permission to remain anchored off Lobo, Batangas.
The notice was signed by Harbor Master Luisito Bernales on April 4 and was addressed to the vessel’s master Captain Li Yong Ping.
The cancellation of the vessel’s permit to anchor on the area came after the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) suspended the vessel’s mission to dredge Lobo River and estuaries nearby under a contract between the local government of Lobo and Seagate Engineering and Build Systems, a Philippine registered company.
According to reports, Dondie Sarmiento, officer-in-charge of Mines and Geosciences Bureau IV-A of the DENR, said the vessel “has no clearance from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) or the Lobo municipal government to dredge the Lobo River.”
It can be recalled that the MV Emerald’s anchorage permit had prevented the Philippine Coast Guard from ordering the vessel to leave.
According to Captain Armand Balilo, Coast Guard Spokesperson, they could not take any action against the vessel as it was allowed by the PPA to dock in the area.
The foreign vessel was found at the protected marine area in Lobo, Batangas last weekend, causing alarm among locals who feared that it could pose serious danger to the area’s rich underwater resources.
According to Coast Guard, MV Emerald was contracted by the local government unit of Lobo to do dredging and desilting activities on the river.
The vessel has a Sierra Leone registry.