DOTC to probe delayed trip at Batangas Port
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) said it will investigate reports that a shipping vessel delayed one of its trips for 6 hours due to a low turnout of passengers.
A trip of Montenegro Shipping Lines was delayed for 6 hours on Friday before setting sail for Abra de Ilog, Occidental Mindoro allegedly because the number of booked passengers did not equate a single trip.
However, the shipping company said the trip was delayed because of engine trouble. The ship left Batangas Port at around 2 p.m.
Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said he will instruct the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) to probe if the vessel did encounter engine trouble.
“Once you get a ticket, it is actually a contract with the shipping company to transport that passenger from his origin to the final destination. If there is such a delay, I’ll instruct MARINA to really find out if this is only an excuse, an alibi, not to sail the vessel,” he told ANC.
Abaya said if the shipping company is found guilty, the DOTC may cancel its franchise.
“We’ll check if there’s any veracity to engine trouble,” he said.
Abaya said aside from the delayed trip at the Batangas Port, which caused several passengers to be stranded, “no unusual incidents” have been reported in other ports and highways.
Thousands are expected to flock to provinces and tourist destinations in the country for the long weekend. -- With a report from Ernie Manio, ABS-CBN News Southern Tagalog