THE Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) is against a joint vessel inspection with the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).
The initiative — as proposed by the PCG — “will only bring confusion to stakeholders and as far as Marina is concerned, the PCG is only limited to safety enforcement even with the new PCG Law (Republic Act [RA] 9993),” new Marina administrator Emerson Lorenzo said.
He added that PCG’s take on RA 9993 (also known as the Philippines Coast Guard Law of 2009) went “beyond provisions of the law. We are afraid that the IRR (implementing rules and regulations of RA 9993) might be surreptitiously signed by the DOTC (Department of Transportation and Communications) secretary. We have the legal system to question the IRR.”
Based on PCG’s IRR, “no vessel, watercraft or water conveyances, pleasure craft and the like shall be registered or allowed renewal of their licenses unless the PCG shall have undertaken the mandatory safety inspections to verify compliance to safety standards, rules and regulations.”
The IRR has already been submitted to the DOTC for approval a month ago.
But in its position paper on RA 9993’s IRR, Marina said safety regulatory functions as embodied under RA 9295 (Domestic Shipping Development Act of 2004) should remain with the agency.
“The PCG must remain a monitoring agent of Marina. The PCG law did not affect or nullify the legal mandate of Marina through the provisions of RA 9295,” Marina said.
“The concept of the regulatory power vis-à-vis enforcement power should be encouraged: Marina as flag administration, to continue the issuance of statutory certificates in vessel safety and PCG to discharge and enforcement functions through port state control,” Marina added.
Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Wilfredo Tamayo earlier said PCG inspections are not limited to pre-departure of vessels and may be done periodically and at random.
“Before the vessel gets registered by Marina, PCG must check it first because we have to know if there (have been) alterations made, which is one of the causes for vessel sinking. We must know the background of the vessel,” he said, adding the PCG can also impose fees under the PCG Law.