The Office for Transport Security (OTS), an attached agency of the Department of Transportation (DOTr), has asked the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) to probe the operations of a vessel carrying foreign crew in coastal waters.
Specifically, the OTS said that Marina should verify if the vessel of Spectrum Marine and Ship Management Inc. has a “Chinese crew” operating within Manila Bay.
Foreign vessels and crew are not permitted to do business in Philippine domestic waters without a Marina special permit.
Already, DOTr Undersecretary for Maritime Elmer Franciso gave verbal instructions to investigate Chinese vessels allegedly carrying Chinese crew.
This was according to OTS Administrator Ma.O R. Aplasca’s letter to Marina Administrator Hernani Fabia this week.
The OTS Administrator also committed to strengthen its partnership with Marina in complying with the requirements of the International Ship and Port Facility (ISPS) Code as well as in OTS issuances.
The OTS is the single authority responsible for the security of the Philippine transportation systems, from civil aviation, sea transport and maritime infrastructure to land transportation, rail system and infrastructure.
Earlier, the Samahan ng Nagkaka-isang Marinong Pilipino complained that majority of crew members of foreign vessels operating in Manila Bay are not Filipinos.
The vessels were supposed to be under a bareboat charter or temporarily under Philippine flag arrangement, but they continued to employ Chinese crew against the rules.
The association made the allegation last month, in a letter to Labor Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma and Migrant Workers Secretary Susan Ople.
SNMP asked the Philippine Coast Guard, Marina and the Department of Labor to inspect foreign vessels being used in a reclamation project in Manila Bay.