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Sen. Aquino calls for probe on seaworthiness of maritime vessels

Posted On 2014 Jun 20
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Office workers cross a flooded street using makeshift floats during heavy rain at the financial district of Makati, south of Manila, Philippines on Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013. Flooding caused by some of the Philippines' heaviest rains on record submerged more than half the capital Tuesday, turning roads into rivers and trapping tens of thousands of people in homes and shelters. The government suspended all work except rescues and disaster response for a second day. (MNS photo)

Office workers cross a flooded street using makeshift floats during heavy rain at the financial district of Makati, south of Manila, Philippines on Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013. Flooding caused by some of the Philippines’ heaviest rains on record submerged more than half the capital Tuesday, turning roads into rivers and trapping tens of thousands of people in homes and shelters. The government suspended all work except rescues and disaster response for a second day. (MNS photo)

MANILA (Mabuhay) – With the entry of typhoon and rainy season, Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino IV has called for an investigation on the seaworthiness of maritime vessels to ensure and safety of passengers and avoid sea mishaps.

“The national government has the duty to implement positive measures that can alleviate, if not resolve, the recurring maritime accidents over the past decades,” Aquino said his filed Senate Resolution 652.

“It should give appropriate emphasis on the seaworthiness of the vessels being used by the shipping companies and must demonstrate stronger commitment in the effective implantation of the laws in order to safeguard the safety of the public,” he added.

Aquino said under the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act, carriers are bound before and at the beginning of the voyage to exercise due diligence to make the ship seaworthy.

“For a vessel to be seaworthy, it must be adequately equipped for the voyage and manned with a sufficient number of competent officers and crew,” the senator said.

Failure of a common carrier to maintain in seaworthy condition the vessel involved in its contract of carriage is a clear breach of its duty prescribed in Article 1755 of the Civil Code.

“The public relies on the care and skill of common carriers in the vigilance over the goods and safety of the passengers, especially because transportation has become more rapid, more complicated and somehow more hazardous,” Aquino stressed.

Aquino noticed that eight deadliest sea disasters happened in the country in the past two decades, including the worst maritime tragedy in history when MV Dona Paz collided with a tanker, killing more than 4,000 people in 1987. (MNS)

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