Filtered By: Topstories

MARINA penalizes foreign vessels over ‘suspicious activities’

The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) has penalized foreign vessels allegedly conducting “suspicious activities” in Philippine waters.

“These vessels were already investigated by the MARINA. We have already issued show-cause orders and were accordingly penalized. Further, these vessels have already settled their penalties,” MARINA National Capital Region Director Engr. Marc Anthony Pascua said in a statement.

The MARINA official, however, did not disclose how much and what penalties were imposed by the agency against the foreign vessels.

“The MARINA would also like to reiterate that vessels whose Special Permits have been revoked and have paid the corresponding penalties may nonetheless apply for another permit so long as they are going to comply with the requirements of the relevant MARINA Circular,” Pascua said.

The MARINA official made the statement after the National Coast Watch Center (NCWC) - an inter-agency maritime surveillance unit under the Office of the Executive Secretary - flagged 10 foreign vessels, most of which are Chinese, that were “allegedly engaged in suspicious activities and were observed to be operating outside their approved areas of operation as against the issued special permit by the MARINA.”

The vessels were operating in the Manila Bay area. The vessels were allegedly conducting dredging and reclamation activities at the Pasay Reclamation Development Project without necessary documents to launch the activities.

The NCWC said the vessels were operating without the following: Clearance from the Department of Public Works and Highways; environmental compliance certificate from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-MGB; memorandum of agreement with the DENR; accreditation from the DENR-MGB; ore transport permit; and a notice to proceed from the DENR-MGB.

MARINA said that the NCWC also found that the vessels had “no objection” clearance from the Office of the National Security Adviser. —Ted Cordero/ VAL, GMA Integrated News