Home » Maritime » Coast Guard eyes stricter cargo weighing rules

THE Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) wants stricter guidelines when it comes to cargo weighing, noting that many maritime accidents in the country are caused by cargo overloading.

In a paper recently submitted to the Department of Transportation and Communications, PCG recommended the installation of weigh bridges in ports servicing cargo/containerized vessels, and the mandatory tagging of cargo for their exact weight.

It also wants to empower masters of vessels to reject cargoes with unknown weights to guarantee loaded cargoes conform the limitations.

In addition, the PCG is for the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) proposal prescribing a standard stowage system for ships operating in the domestic trade.

The Marina proposal requires companies with ships 500 gross tons and above and carrying cargo units to submit a cargo securing manual.

The PCG said the limited number of PCG and Philippine Ports Authority personnel and the lack of cargo-weighing facilities in ports, except in major international gateways, are usually exploited by shippers.

It does not help that there is a dearth of portable weighing bridges along major road thoroughfares to also check the exact weight of cargoes.

A study made by the Road Information and Management Support System showed the most number of cargo overloading offenses occur in North Luzon, specifically Manila North Road in Regions 1 and 3, Cagayan Valley Road in Region 2 and 3, and San Fernando-Olongapo Road in Region 3 where the average overloading rate is 8-16%.

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