BARMM lawmakers seek own inquiry into Basilan sea mishap
COTABATO CITY — Two members of the interim parliament of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) had jointly filed a resolution seeking the conduct of their own investigation into the fire incident last Wednesday involving MV Lady Mary Joy 3 of Aleson Shipping as it was passing through Basilan en route to Sulu.
Members of Parliament Amir Mawallil and Laisa Masuhud Alamia filed Proposed Resolution No. 209 which seeks to assess the sufficiency of existing protocols and safety measures for maritime travel within the Bangsamoro region.
The measure, according to Mawallil, aims to craft legislation that will reinforce existing policies.
The tragedy claimed at least 29 lives.
“While we grieve with the families of those lost in the tragic ferry fire, we in the Bangsamoro government should also make sure we take steps to ensure that this incident does not happen again. It is very unfortunate that this tragedy occurred during the Holy Month of Ramadan, which only adds to our sorrow,” Mawallil said.
Mawallil said the incident raises troubling questions, including how it could have occurred, given that the Bangsamoro people have traveled these waters for millennia.
“Who is responsible? And how can we prevent it from happening again?” he added.
Alamia and Mawallil’s proposed resolution sought to delve into the cause and circumstances of the fire, including any possible negligence or violations of safety protocols by the owner, operator, crew, or any other party involved in the operation of the vessel;
The adequacy and effectiveness of the safety measures, equipment, and protocols of the vessel and the shipping company in ensuring the safety and security of the passengers and crew;
The compliance of the vessel and the shipping company with relevant laws, regulations, and standards on maritime safety and security, including those promulgated by the Bangsamoro Government and the national government;
The immediate and long-term impacts of the incident on the survivors, the families of the victims, the environment, and the local economy, and the appropriate measures that the government should undertake to mitigate and address these impacts; and
The policy and legislative measures that the Bangsamoro Transition Authority should enact to enhance the safety and security of sea transportation within the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region, including the regulation, monitoring, and enforcement of safety standards and the provision of support and assistance to the victims and survivors of maritime accidents.
“The cause of the fire is still unknown, and there is a need to investigate the incident to determine the cause and prevent similar incidents from happening in the future,” the resolution read.
According to Republic Act No. 11054, or the Bangsamoro Organic Law, the Bangsamoro government shall have the authority to regulate transportation, including sea transportation, within its jurisdiction and to exercise quasi-judicial powers over the operation of land and water transportation in the region.
It further stated that the Bangsamoro government has the authority and responsibility to ensure the safety and welfare of the people, including those who use the transportation systems in the region for their livelihood and daily activities.
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