Oriental Mindoro oil spill

MARINA files admin cases vs owner of sunken MT Princess Empress

Lance Spencer Yu

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MARINA files admin cases vs owner of sunken MT Princess Empress

OIL SPILL. The Philippine Coast Guard gathers samples of oil on March 2, 2023, after an oil spill in the waters off Naujan, Oriental Mindoro, caused by the sunken MT Princess Empress.

Philippine Coast Guard

The agency finds probable cause to file administrative cases against RDC Reield Marine Services for 'operating without authority or operating without a valid certificate of public convenience'

MANILA, Philippines – The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) said it had filed administrative cases against RDC Reield Marine Services (RDC), the operator of the sunken MT Princes Empress.

Meron pong binuong fact-finding committee ang MARINA at nag-file na po sila ng formal charges na administratibo ng MARINA. Gumugulong na po ‘yung proseso,” MARINA Director Ronald Bandalaria said during a Laging Handa briefing on Wednesday, April 5.  

(MARINA created a fact-finding committee and filed formal administrative charges. The process is ongoing.)

According to a press release, MARINA has found probable cause to file administrative cases against RDC for “operating without authority or operating without a valid certificate of public convenience (CPC).”

A CPC is a license issued by MARINA to domestic ship operators to engage in domestic shipping activities. 

Should they prove that the company broke MARINA’s regulations, Bandalaria said that the agency could fine the company and revoke its CPC.

Kung mapapatunayan po sila, bilang isang administrative at regulatory agency po, maaari po nating ikansela o i-revoke ang tinatawag nating certificate of public convenience. Bukod pa po rito ang mga administrative fines at penalties,” he said.

(If we prove that the company is at fault, as an administrative and regulatory agency, we can cancel or revoke their certificate of public convenience. We can also issue administrative fines and penalties.)

Last March, MARINA issued a cease and desist order against RDC to halt the operations of its remaining vessels, MT Criseldrei and MT Natiel Faye.

Totoo pong naglabas ng cease-and-desist order ang ating administrator ng MARINA para sa remaining vessels ng kompanyang RDC Reield Marine Services. Kasalukuyan pong hindi pinahihintulutan ang dalawang barko po ng kompanya, ‘yun pong Natiel Faye at Criseldrei,” Bandalaria said.

(It’s true that the administrator of MARINA issued a cease-and-desist order for the remaining vessels of the company RDC Reield Marine Services. Right now, the two ships of the company, Natiel Faye and Criseldrei, are prohibited from operating.)

He said that the show cause order also included the marine surveying company and shipyard.

The MARINA director added that he could not say how long the cease-and-desist order would be in place, but that the agency was already processing the administrative case against RDC.

MARINA Deputy Administrator Sonia Malaluan also confirmed on Tuesday, April 4, that they found probable cause to file complaints against RDC.

“As to the ongoing fact-finding investigation by the MARINA on its officials and personnel, we wish to provide assurance that management will really pursue any formal charge should the fact-finding investigation and process provide probable cause to really file formal charges to our officials or employees who are found to have lapses or negligence in the performance of their functions or duties,” Malaluan said. 

The Oriental Mindoro oil spill, which resulted from the sinking of the MT Princess Empress last February 28, has already affected tens of thousands of families in the region. – Rappler.com

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Lance Spencer Yu

Lance Spencer Yu is a multimedia reporter who covers the transportation, tourism, infrastructure, finance, agriculture, and corporate sectors, as well as macroeconomic issues.