Seaman’s book seeing print after long delay
MANILA, Philippines—Quezon City-based printing company Apo Production Unit (APU), a government-controlled corporation, has acknowledged delays in the production and delivery of some 200,000 seaman’s books to the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina), citing “supply chain” problems.
APU chair Mila Alora on Sunday attributed the delay in the printing of seaman’s books to supply issues on laminates, which, she said, had been resolved.
She said full production was resumed on May 18.
“APU will be up to date by June 22… Marina can expect full delivery one month ahead of the Oct. 15 deadline,” said Alora, press assistant secretary during the Corazon Aquino administration.
Last week, Marina administrator Maximo Mejia said the delay in the delivery of the seaman’s books had “something to do with a problem in the APU supply chain.”
“A vital component could not be delivered by their supplier in France,” he said.
Mejia, members of the Marina bids and awards committee and APU general manager Jaime Aldaba are facing graft charges in the Office of the Ombudsman for the alleged irregular award of a P59-million contract to APU for the supply of seaman’s books to the maritime agency.
The case was filed earlier this month by Nelson Ramirez, president of United Filipino Seafarers (UFS).
Ramirez claimed, among other things, that Marina awarded the contract to APU on Feb. 7 despite the company’s “incapability to print and supply 200,000 copies of seafarer’s books.”
“It has been almost three months since APU committed to deliver 20 percent of the seaman’s books on Feb. 26. However, up to now APU has yet to make the deliveries,” he said.
On Sunday, Alora assailed some “private printers” she said were behind a smear campaign against APU.—Jerry E. Esplanada
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