An official of the Department of Trade and Industry in Region 7 criticized another agency in government for its alleged failure to resolve an issue that has caused too much delay and inconvenience to the public.
DTI regional director Asteria Caberte was among the passengers stranded at the port of Dumaguete because nobody from the Marina office could issue a clearance for a fast craft to leave after its engines stopped off the seas of Bohol and Negros Oriental last night.
Caberte found out that Jeff Gecite of the Marina office in Dumaguete was on leave and nobody seemed to know what to do. She was told that Marina-Cebu office will still send an engineer to check on the seaworthiness of the fast craft, and that they were advised to take the 3 o’clock schedule.
The Marina-Cebu office later sent the clearance through email for Ocean Jet 5 to leave for Tagbilaran at 11 a.m. yesterday.
Philippine Coast Guard Lt. Comdr. Agapito Bibat had earlier explained he cannot allow the fast craft to leave until clearance and certification is given by MARINA.
Bibat said Ocean Jet 5 was rescued by Tugboat Kent six nautical miles or eleven kilometers from Dumaguete port last night when its engines suddenly stopped.
It was later believed that somebody may have stepped on the emergency shut off valve located under a passenger seat, and stopped the distribution of fuel to the engine.
Fastcraft captain Rolando Seneres told the DAILY STAR that it was the first time in his seven years as captain of the boat that this happened.
The group stranded included 54 domestic tourists from the First Farmers Association in Talisay, Negros Occidental, who were bound for Tagbilaran.
Caberte said she will report the matter to the Regional Development Council.
Most of the time, the routes affected are those for Dumaguete and Siquijor island.*JG
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