Tamayo pushes for building up of weigh bridges in ports nationwide

September 6, 2010 11:33 am 

MANILA, Sept. 5 –Admiral Wilfredo Tamayo, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) commandant, is calling for the installation of weight bridges in major seaports to ensure that cargoes being loaded to vessels are evenly distributed to avoid tilting of vessels during voyage.

At present, Tamayo said only the Batangas port which was equipped with heavy-duty scales.

Tamayo said the shipping companies or the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) can help in installing weigh bridges in major ports all over the country.

The Board of Marine Inquiry (BMI), which looked into the sinking of M/V SuperFerry 9 in September 2009 that resulted in the death of 10 persons, recommended to put up weigh bridges in various major ports.

“The weigh bridges ensure that the weight of the cargoes loaded on the ships are accurately distributed,” Tamayo said.

Tamayo said with the absence of weight bridges, the only way to assess if the weight is evenly distributed is through its draft load.

He said weigh bridge is more useful as it helps to accurately assess the weight of a cargoes for the purpose of distributing them when loaded to vessels.

The BMI recommended the putting up of weigh bridges but the BMI report is still on appeal before the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC).

It can be recalled that the 7,268 gross ton M/V SuperFerry 9 reportedly off loaded cargoes at the port of General Santos before it went on its way for a two-day travel to Iloilo City last Sept. 5, 2009.

However, at around 3:30 a.m. of Sept. 6 the vessel tilted 25 degrees toward its starboard side.

Captain Jose Yap reportedly declared an “abandon ship”, but some passengers decided to wait for the sun to shine before jumping into the water. They said it would be difficult for the Search And Rescue (SAR) vessels to see and rescue them during night time.

The vessel sank at 9:30 a.m. in the vicinity of the Zamboanga Peninsula. More than 900 people survived, 10 were reported dead and there were a few others who were still missing. (PNA) RMA/JES

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