Coast guard finds 29 violations of distressed Chinese vessel


Posted at Feb 07 2023 06:31 PM

The Coast Guard in Eastern Visayas found 29 violations of the Chinese vessel, MV Kai Da 899, which is still docked off San Pedro Bay in Tacloban City after being distressed last January 26 in Suluan Island, Guiuan, Eastern Samar.

The district commander of the Philippine Coast Guard for Eastern Visayas, Commodore Romeo Polido, Jr., said that out of the 29 violations on seaworthiness, 22 might be grounds for detention.

"Out of 29 violations sa safety, 22 are detainable, actually; hindi siya, we really have what do you call that, ground to; the term is not detain but to hold in abeyance until further clarification ng documents," Polido clarified.

However, he did not elaborate further on what those violations were.

The coast guard official, however, was quick to clarify that this is also for the vessel's and its crew members' safety. 

"The Coast Guard, as mandated by law, concentrates on the seaworthiness of the vessel. Kaya nga natin ni-rescue kasi may deficiency. So we don't want na kung i-release natin, baka i-rescue na naman natin ulit kasi may sira," said Polido.

The vessel and its 7 Chinese crew members are being held in abeyance while the vessel's owner could not present the certificate of registration and certificate of ownership. 

The coast guard was able to get a copy of a certificate of deletion of ship registration issued by the Chinese government, which means that the vessel is no longer safe for voyage and no longer meets maritime safety standards.

In a meeting with coast guard and customs officials held on January 31, the lawyer of the owner of the vessel requested that the vessel be released and repaired, along with the release of its crew members. 

But the coast guard insists that they cannot do so until the owner presents the mandatory requirements, as the burden of proof is upon the Chinese owner.

"Ang sabi sa amin ng lawyer kasi may lawyer kami sa coast guard, until such time they cannot give us the mandatory requirements like the certificate of registry na authenticated by yung nag-issue ng registration, which is yung China, and the certificate of ownership, we cannot proceed with yung gusto nila na i-repair," said Polido in an interview.

Polido also stressed that, as required by the law, no shipyard in the country could start repairing the vessel without the said mandatory requirements.

The coast guard official also said they already sent a letter to the Chinese embassy to ask for clarifications on the authenticity of the initial document presented by the crew members.

—Report from Sharon Evite