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MANILA, Philippines – The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) moved to stop the operations of RDC Reield Marine Services, the company that owns MT Princess Empress – the sunken vessel responsible for the oil spill that first impacted Oriental Mindoro.
“We issued two cease-and-desist orders. One is for the cancellation of the franchise or certificate of public convenience (CPC), and the other one is cease-and-desist in the operations,” said MARINA Administrator Hernani Fabia.
The closure orders are in effect until authorities finish their investigation into the embattled company.
RDC has been in hot water amid questions surrounding the authority of MT Princess Empress to operate.
MARINA said the oil tanker, which sank off the coast of Oriental Mindoro with 800,000 liters of bunker fuel in February, had no updated permit, because the company has yet to amend its original CPC.
A CPC is a license issued by MARINA to domestic ship operators to engage in domestic shipping activities. When a company has a new ship, it needs to file an amendment to its CPC.
RDC’s insurance coverage hangs in the balance due to the controversy surrounding MT Princess Empress’ authority to travel.
RDC had said the sunken ship was insured for $1 billion or around P55 billion under a Protection and Indemnity (P&I) coverage.
But without an updated permit, senators said the company might not be able to claim indemnity insurance.
Nearly 200 people have fallen ill because of the oil spill, according to the Department of Health.
Dozens of coastal barangays in Oriental Mindoro are also under a state of calamity because of the disaster. – Rappler.com