Masbate sea trips briefly suspended due to shipping line’s permit ‘lapses’
MASBATE CITY – The Port Management Office of Masbate (PMO) released a travel advisory on Monday (April 3) to inform the public of the temporary suspension of all Montenegro Shipping Lines, Inc. (MSLI) travels because of the alleged lapses in the business permit from the Municipality of Pilar in Sorsogon.
The suspension applied to both MSLI Fast Crafts and roll-on roll-off (Ro-Ro) vessels traveling between Masbate City and Pilar, Sorsogon, and vice versa.
On March 30, the municipal mayor’s office, led by Carolyn Sy-Reyes, issued a cease-and-desist order to the MSLI management.
Sy-Reyes said their office required MSLI to file a proposal in the second week of March to settle dues on the seaport mooring or tying fee and seaport user’s fee with the local government unit of Pilar, along with securing a business permit for the year 2023.
But the MSLI reportedly failed to comply with these requirements. Instead, their legal counsel requested a “definite and not time-bound” extension.
“For the best interest of the government and the public, we are constrained to issue this cease-and-desist order [against] your operation in the Pilar Municipal Port effective April 3, 2023, on the ground that you do not have a valid business permit to operate,” the order stated.
The suspension order delayed some trips, most of those returning to Masbate for the Holy Week and the Rodeo Festival 2023.
Ray Corpuz, the MSLI-Masbate operation supervisor, said their officer-in-charge would coordinate with the Pilar mayor’s office.
The order was effective until the MSLI settled their account and secured their permit with the Pilar, Sorsogon Business Permit and Licensing Office.
As of 4 p.m. on the same day, another advisory was issued by the PMO-Masbate announcing the resumption of MSLI operations effective 5 p.m. Monday. FRANSHEY MAE DRIO/CONTRIBUTOR