Time To Junk The Killer Ro-Ro RP Nautical Highway Experiment! (Updated)
It is now time for the Arroyo regime to seriously consider junking its much ballyhooed ‘ Philippine nautical highway’ program that’s anchored on encouraging local shipping lines to harness roll on-roll- (RORO) ships that carry both human and ‘rolling cargo’.
It was only last September that SuperFerry 9, a RORO vessel capsized on the suspicion that water seeped into one of its ramp doors.
And now comes the sinking of yet another RORP Baleno 9 off Verde Island in Batangas!!
The Coast Guard says it appears the front (bow) ramp door was the culprit, with surviving passengers saying it looked like the positioning of the ship’s 9 rolling cargo was imbalanced.
Of course yet another board of marine inquiry is being convened to officially determine WTF happened.
But this will not reclaim the lives of the dead.
Now read this: The lady chef of the Maritime Industry Authority, Elena Bautista has sheepishly admitted that local RORO ships are all second hand vessels and are only fit for ister-island travel and nit open sea voyages such as the one undertaken by the ill-fated Baleno 9!!
It has now also been revealed that the ship’s skipper was not a certified captain and did not undergo formal schooling!!!
And here’s more: the ship’s owners have only now submitted ‘an update’ manifest for other unlisted passengers, raising the number of missing!!!
Will Ms Bautista, who told the Senate that she’s powerless against politically influential ship owners, offer to resign?
She’s a bosom budd and former classmate of Pres. Arroyo.