By Mar S. Arguelles
LEGAZPI CITY ---Maritime authorities on Monday (Aug. 13) has put on hold the cargo vessel that ran aground at the shorelines of Barangay Arimbay here on Sunday morning destroying a portion of the Pasig coral reef in said village, according to Legazpi City Mayor Noel Rosal.
The cargo vessel MV Jerlyn Lily owned by the Lily Gene Sea Transport Corp., based in Guiuan, Eastern Samar, would have to settle first the damages it caused when the vessel ran aground on Sunday, Rosal said.
The vessel as a standard practice before it is allowed to leave port has to secure a special permit or certification to navigate with the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA}.
“Port authorities would not allow them to sail unless the vessel has cleared and settled all the obligation it has incurred,” Rosal said.
Rosal in a phone interview said the incident has destroyed 253 square meters of coral reef situated in the Pasig Reef 500 meters from the shorelines of Barangay Arimbay, this city.
The city chief executive said the city government after conducting assessment would fine for damages the owner of the cargo vessel amounting to P665,000.
“The amount would be used to rehabilitate the damage wrought by the vessel to the Pasig reef,” Rosal said.
Junjun Folioso, MARINA maritime specialist, in an interview said the 199 gross ton cargo vessel with 18 crew members on Sunday was reportedly set to anchor at the Legazpi Oil Company wharf but failed to notice a shallow part of the bay causing the vessel to run aground.
The cargo vessel was loaded with copra products, the Marina officer disclosed.