MANILA, Philippines — The Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) has suspended the passenger ship safety certificate (PSSC) of M/V Asia Philippines, the ferry that caught fire as it approached the Batangas International Port on Friday.
Marina regional director Emmanuel Carpio, in his letter addressed to Starlite Ferries Inc. dated August 26, said that based on the guidelines and the law, a ship’s passenger safety certificate should be suspended when “the ship has been involved in maritime casualties and incidents … that may put into question the integrity of its hull and its integral parts.”
Carpio cited the provisions of Republic Act No. 9295 or the Domestic Shipping Development Act of 2004 and the Marina Administrative Order No. 11-19 and Marina Memorandum Circular No. 152.
“In view thereof, the Passenger Ship Safety Certificate of MV ASIA PHILIPPINES is hereby SUSPENDED until further notice from this Authority,” Carpio said in his letter.
Carpio added that the ferry will be subjected to thorough safety inspection by Marina inspectors and surveyors.
Starlite Shipping’s M/V Asia Philippines, a roll-on-roll-off (Ro-Ro) ferry, was preparing to dock at the Batangas International Port when it caught fire on Friday evening. It was carrying 82 passengers and crew.
The Philippine Coast Guard said the ferry came from Calapan City in Oriental Mindoro and was about one nautical mile from the Batangas International Port when it caught fire.
The 49 passengers and 38 crew members of the vessel were all rescued. One passenger was reported hurt.