Group fears withdrawal of recognition for Pinoy seafarers
MANILA - United Filipino Seafarers (UFS) president Nelson Ramirez fears the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) may withdraw the recognition earlier given to Filipino seafarers because of the latest mishap involving Sulpicio Lines.
Sulpicio Lines, renamed to Philippine Span Asia Carrier Corp. (PSACC), should already be in the shipping industry’s "hall of shame," having registered historical footnotes in every major maritime disaster, he said.
In a statement, Ramirez said: “Based on record, Sulpicio is the shipping company to go when you need a maritime mess-up big time. It’s the country’s consistent widow- and orphan-maker.”
Sulpicio Lines was earlier involved in major sea disasters with the company-owned M/V Dona Paz, M/V Dona Marilyn, M/V Princess of the Orient and M/V Princess of the Star.
Around 4,375 lost their lives in the M/V Dona Paz disaster alone.
Ramirez said a withdrawal of the European recognition may not bode well for 80,000 Filipino seafarers who are working onboard European vessels. The Filipinos remit more than P1 billion annually, he said.
EMSA will be coming to the country this October for their final assessment of the country’s maritime education, training and professional regulation.
PSACC chief executive Jordan Go said the company’s track record does not have anything to do with the accident on Friday.
“It’s immaterial to what happened right now,” Go said.
At least 34 people have died following the collision between 2GO passenger vessel MV St. Thomas Aquinas and Sulpicio Express 7 at Talisay City in Cebu on Friday night.
Hundreds of passengers of MV St. Thomas Aquinas had to jump into the water as the ship began to sink 10 minutes after the collision.