PCG tells firms to remove vessels washed inland by Yolanda in Tacloban, Guiuan | Inquirer News

PCG tells firms to remove vessels washed inland by Yolanda in Tacloban, Guiuan

By: - Correspondent / @joeygabietaINQ
/ 08:54 PM January 05, 2014

Philippine Coast Guard . INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte, Philippines — The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) will grant emergency permits to allow ship owners to remove their vessels that have been stranded inland in Tacloban City and Guiuan, Eastern Samar, for almost two months now.

The owners of the ships may tow or salvage their vessels without having to undergo the permit process that would normally take three months, said Lt. J. G. Paul Gonzales, PCG chief in Eastern Visayas, on Saturday.


Gonzales said that under the normal process, owners of the vessels would have had to comply with the following requirements: Accreditation of the salvaging company by the Coast Guard; proof that both the ship owner and the salvaging firm have the means to undertake salvaging operations like the right equipment, vessels and divers; and a plan approved by the Coast Guard.


Gonzales said, however, that they would do away with these requirements to help in the rehabilitation of Tacloban City and Guiuan, which were devastated by Supertyphoon “Yolanda” (Haiyan) on Nov. 8.

“If we do not right away remove these ships, they will remind the people of the tragic event. The permits could just be complied with later,” Gonzales said.

Yolanda washed inland 15 commercial vessels—10 in Tacloban and five in Guiuan, and two government vessels—a dredger owned by the Department of Public Works and Highways and a ship owned by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, all in this city.

The 10 commercial vessels washed inland in Tacloban were the MV Star Hilongos, MV Jaguar, MV Tomi Elegance, MV Eva Jocelyn, MV Gayle, MV David, MV Rosmar, MV RKK Uno, MV Lancer and MV Ligaya V.

Except for the dredger, which was found in a residential area in Barangay  (village) 75, all the other vessels ended up in Anibong District in this city.

In Guiuan, the five vessels that washed inland were the MV Eastern Samar, MV Lady of Fatima, MT Maharlika-a and MT Maharlika-b, and a barge, the Vicente Uno.


Gonzales said, however, that they could not identify most of the owners of the vessels as the documents were lost during the typhoon.

He said only the owners of four of the commercial vessels were so far identified. They were: Candano Shipping Lines, owner of the MV David; Tacloban Oil Mill, owner of both the MV Jaguar and the MV Tomi Elegance; and Generoso Yu, owner of the MV Eastern Samar.

Gonzales said that among them, only Candano Shipping had applied for a salvage permit that was submitted to PCG-Tacloban on Dec. 30. Candano Shipping listed Ziga Avenue, Tabaco City, Albay, as its business address, he said.

Gonzales also noted the urgent need to remove the 3,000-ton MV Eva Jocelyn from Barangay 68, a coastal village in Anibong, as the vessel had started to tilt and could crush the surrounding houses that were being repaired by their owners.

“The ship sits atop unstable ground composed of debris. Eventually the ground will deteriorate… there will be movement, so those below [the ship] could end up getting crushed,” Gonzales said.

Around a dozen houses were directly hit by the Eva Jocelyn. Four residents were later found dead, pinned by the ship when the supertyphoon smashed through Tacloban and many areas in Eastern Visayas, northern Cebu and northern Panay.

The typhoon claimed 20 lives in Barangay 68, while Tacloban City as a whole accounted for over 2,000 of the estimated 6,000 who died during the typhoon. Almost 2,000 across Eastern Visayas remain missing to date.

Gemma Agner, whose house was among those hit by the 3,000-ton ship, said they wanted to see it removed. “It’s a painful reminder to us all,” she added.

Gonzales said they wanted the vessel owners to remove their ships by the end of January. Otherwise, he said, the PCG would salvage the ships at the expense of the owners.

The unfinished documentation for insurance claims was the reason the owners appeared hesitant to remove the vessels immediately, Gonzales said.

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TAGS: Calamity, disaster, Haiyan, News, recovery, retrieval, ships, supertyphoon, Typhoon

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