Robin: Philippine sea-going vessels are aging

Philippine vessels are aging and many were bought secondhand from other countries.

Senator Robinhood C. Padilla gave this observation after the death of 29 passengers when fire recently hit the MV Lady Mary Joy 3 off Basilan in southern Philippines. More than 200 passengers were rescued.

"While our authorities investigate the tragedy - including violations of policies and procedures - we must find ways to make sure this does not happen again by strengthening our passenger and cargo shipping industry. One issue is that our vessels are aging and many were bought secondhand from other countries,’’ Padilla said.

"We also have no real competition, with 40 percent of our routes served by one operator,’’ he added.

Padilla extended his "deepest sympathies with the loved ones of those who died, as well as those who were affected’’ by the fire that hit the MV Lady Mary Joy 3..

"This new tragedy occurred even before we could recover from the oil spill off Mindoro,’’ he pointed out.

"Aside from the suspension of operations of the Passenger Ship Safety Certificate of the MV Lady Mary Joy 3, it is but proper that we take a deeper look into why such tragedies still happen,’’ he said.

"Let us not wait for another morning when we will wake up to news of yet another tragedy involving our transportation system,’’ he added.