Tuesday Sep, 17 2019 02:58:11 PM

BARMM transportation minister resolves leadership problem in Tawi-Tawi port

GOVERNANCE/POLITICS • 09:30 AM Sat Aug 17, 2019
Edwin O. Fernandez
BARMM Transportation Minister visits Bongao port in Tawi-Tawi. (MOTC photo)

COTABATO CITY  — Using diplomatic yet tough stance, the head of Ministry of Transportation and Communications of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (MOTC-BARMM) resolved leadership confusion of Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) in Tawi-Tawi.

“The confusion of leadership in this office has to stop,” MOTC Minister Dickson P. Hermoso told Marina officials in a meeting that resolved over three years of confusion as who is the real chief of Marina-Tawi-Tawi.

“No one assumes office without any proper legal authority that comes from the BARMM interim chief minister himself and without my concurrence as the minister of transportation and communications,” Hermoso said.

Hermoso, a former military general and known peace advocate, first conducted an ocular inspection and stepped into Marine office in Bongao. Alonto A. Sahiron, MPA, Marina-BARMM officer-in-charge, said said Minister Hermoso resolved what previous regional officials failed to address.

“This ocular visit of Minister Hermoso has settled once and for all the issues on bogus personnel pretending to be employees who are actually not connected with MARINA-BARMM,” Sahiron said.

There are others who also claim to be employees of other agencies but records show otherwise that affects the operation of Marina.

“Boat owners are confused on whom to get the real permit to operate,” Sahiron said, adding that all types of sea vessels regardless of tonnage are obliged to register and be recognized by MARINA-BARMM.

All motor vessels must be registered with Marina, they may be small wooden banca, medium size or large passenger and cargo container ships.

Minister Hermoso said Marina and the Regional Ports Management Authority (RPMA-BARMM) should be working hand and hand as brothers to monitor each sea vessel plying and docking along the seas and rivers within the BARMM area of responsibility.

Gary Abbas, regional officer-in-charge of RPMA said, said the region has no major problem other than congestion in seaports.

Due to improved economic activities in the BARMM, more and more sea vessels are coming over regional ports and RPMA said not all ports can be accommodated. Abbas reported to Mininster Hermoso that the Bongao (Tawi-Tawi) and Jolo ports are under renovations to be able to handle bigger ships to make it as an international hub.

“Soon these ports will be able to accommodate international cargos and passenger ships from neighboring Asian countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, Sabah and Brunei,” he said. 

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