MANILA, Philippines – The proposal to dismantle the grounded USS Guardian did not meet any objections from all stakeholders, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) commandant Rear Adm. Rodolfo Isorena said Wednesday.
Isorena said the US Navy is proposing that the USS Guardian, which ran aground on the UNESCO World Heritage Site last January 17, be dismantled instead of being pulled or lifted from the reef.
"Ipineresenta natin sa stakeholders kahapon ang salvage plan na isinumite sa atin ng US. Kahapon diniscuss natin sa kanila kung papano talaga ang gagawin," Isorena said.
"At during the presentation okay naman po, wala naman pong naging objection. Ipinresenta namin ito sa stakeholders, especially sa provincial government ng Palawan at saka sa Tubbataha Management Office."
Isorena said the SMIT Borneo, one of the floating cranes that will dismantle the ship, is already in the area. Dismissing earlier reports, he said that the dropping of the crane's anchors will not cause any damage to the reef.
He explained that the SMIT Borneo will drop its four anchors at portions of Tubbataha where there are no corals.
"Kasi yung reef natin, kantilado, parang may wall. Yung distansya nung pagbabagsakan ng anchor ay buhangin po ang pagbabagsakan," he said.
"Ipinaliwanag naman po ng salvor operator na walang tatamaan na reef during the anchoring dahil malayo po yung distansya ng pagbabagsakan ng anchor… Ang distansya o lalim ng pagbabagsakan ng anchor ay 800 meter yung lalim. Malayo po yung distansya nya sa reef. Almost 1,000 meters po yung pagbabagsakan ng anchor."
Isorena said another floating crane, the bigger Jascon 25, is expected to arrive soon in the area.
He said the SMIT Borneo, once given the go signal, can take care of dismantling the smaller parts of the ship while waiting for the Jascon 25.
"Pati po yung haul kukunin nila. Ang mangyayari nga po paparte-partehin nila, uunahin lang po yung upper deck, yung itaas hanggang sa ilalim po kukunin nila yun," Isorena said.