RESCUED. All 279 passengers of the grounded MV Filipinas Cebu take the motorized boats on Tuesday afternoon (Aug. 9, 2022) for transfer to bigger rescue ships. The roll on- roll off/passenger vessel of the Cokaliong Shipping Lines ran aground off waters of Sitio Maipe, Barangay Igbon, Concepcion, Iloilo on August 8. (Photo courtesy of Jhon Rey Asturias/Concepcion Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office)

ILOILO CITY – The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) effective Tuesday suspended the passenger ship safety certificate (PSSC) disallowing travel of MV Filipinas Cebu, a roll on-roll off/passenger vessel of the Cokaliong Shipping Lines bound for Cebu, which ran aground off waters of Sitio Maipe, Barangay Igbon, Concepcion, Iloilo on Aug. 8, 2022.

“While the PSSC is suspended, the coast guard will not allow the vessel to travel. The shipping company has to comply with the guidelines before the lifting of the suspension order by the MARINA,” said Coast Guard Iloilo Station Commander Paterno Belarmino Jr. in a phone interview on Wednesday.

He added that the shipping company has to hire a salvor to conduct an underwater inspection and if found the vessel is undamaged, then the MARINA would issue the lifting order.

The 37 crew members were left on board the grounded vessel for further investigation as the MARINA will conduct its separate probe.

Belarmino said that based on the statement of the skipper of the ship, the duty helmsman had dozed off.

He added that he would be waiting for the final report of the investigation being conducted by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Maritime and Safety Unit.

The PCG Marine Environmental Protection Unit, on the other hand, has already made an underwater inspection within the vicinity and found no oil spill.

“We already have personnel on board the ship to monitor the vessel,” Belarmino said.

Based on the supplemental manifest submitted to the PCG, the vessel was carrying 279 passengers, including three infants.

The passengers were transferred to MV Filipinas Nasipit and PCG’s BRP Panglao on Tuesday afternoon and have already reached their destination. (PNA)