MT Empress CPC revocation not yet executory

The revocation of the Certificate of Public Convenience that the Maritime Industry Authority has imposed on RDC Reield Marine Services Inc. or RDC — owner, and operator of the MT Princess Empress tanker that recently sank and caused a massive oil spill in Oriental Mindoro and nearby areas, is not yet final and executory.

“The decision is not yet final and executory because as per our procedural rules, it provides a period for the respondent to file an appeal for 15 days. So, we will wait for a period of 15 days from the issuance of the decision, wherein the respondent can file an appeal before it becomes final and executory,” Marina spokesperson, Atty. Sharon Aledo told reporters on Friday in a virtual press briefing.

On 11 May, Marina-National Capital Region revoked the company’s CPC for RDC’s non-compliance on their part with approved standards and pertinent Marina circulars.

Aledo clarified that the RDC can’t still operate even if they still have 15 days to file for an appeal because the cease-and-desist order that Marina earlier released against the company is still active.

“Until the decision comes final and executory, the cease-and-desist order that Marina issued previously is still valid. And if they will not file an appeal within the reglementary period of 15 days, then the decision becomes final and immediately executory, which means the CPC of RDC is already revoked,” she said.

She said they do not expect RDC to file again and secure another CPC, as Marina is already aware of the oil spill that happened in Occidental Mindoro.

Aledo revealed that aside from the looming revocation of the CPC of the RDC, the company will be fined P100,000 for operating without a necessary permit to operate, under Marina Circular 120.

The RDC, based on Marina records, has three remaining ships: two tanker vessels, and one passenger ship.

It was earlier discovered that the CPC of the sunken MT Princess Empress is not included in the valid company CPC of the RDC, as it was already on the way when it sailed last 28 February that carried 900,000 liters of industrial oil.

It is said that SL Harbor Bulk Terminal Corporation, a subsidiary of San Miguel Shipping and Lighterage, negotiated with MT Princess Empress operator RDC to charter the said industrial oil.

Despite not being authorized to operate, the vessel managed to sail at least 17 times before it sank in Naujan, Occidental Mindoro on 28 February, causing a major environmental and economic catastrophe to the residents of the said province.

Based on the assessment of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, damage to the environment due to the oil spill from the sunken Princess Empress has been estimated to reach around P7 billion, ruining coral reefs, seagrasses, mangroves, and fisheries exposed to the slicks, and depriving livelihood to 26,000 fisherfolk.

The sinking of MT Princess Empress, which was carrying 900,000 liters of industrial fuel oil, caused a massive spill in the waters of the provinces of Antique, Batangas, Oriental Mindoro, and Palawan.

Read more Daily Tribune stories at:

Follow us on social media
Facebook: @tribunephl
Youtube: TribuneNow
Twitter: @tribunephl
Instagram: @tribunephl
TikTok: @dailytribuneofficial