The first oceangoing vessel to be laid up in the Port of Manila may happen this month, almost a year after the global decline of movement of goods started as a result of the economic downturn.
The first oceangoing vessel to be laid up in the Port of Manila may happen this month, almost a year after the global decline of movement of goods started as a result of the economic downturn. Relinic Trading Corp. president Danny David said his company may handle the first vessel to be laid up and which may arrive within the week. He did not give details about vessel but said it will be on a hot lay-up, which means that it will have a skeletal crew and the engine is still working.
Relinic, a company that specializes in afloat ship-repair services, was earlier given by Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), the main agency that looks after the development of the ports, a permit to act as a lay-up agent in the Manila South Harbor Anchorage. The said area can handle up to 60 vessels. According to earlier estimates, the government can earn as much as $240,000 a month from fees coming from the lay-up services alone, when the entire Port of Manila has been occupied by the vessels.
At the moment, the said anchorage area is still empty except for those ships discharging or loading cargoes. The lay-up of oceangoing vessels will be able to generate employment to returning seafarers whose contracts have been terminated by their employers. It will also have some business opportunities, particularly for residents in the Tondo and Baseco areas when the ship owners and managers start the ship rejuvenation. PPA issued the permit only on May 28 and is valid for one year.
It gives authority for Relinic to provide its lay-up agent services at the Manila South Harbor and also a separate permit for the firm to operate at the Port of Pulupandan in Negros Occidental. A lay-up agent will ensure all the administrative, technical and the security needs of the vessels are being met while the ships are being parked.
David said his company has already talked with other government agencies such as the Bureau of Immigration for the foreign seafarers, Bureau of Customs and the Philippine Coast Guard for the security of the vessels while being parked here.
?We will continuously monitor the vessels while they are in hot lay-up. We have secured the necessary monitoring devices. In case of typhoon, we will be guided by the weather report and ensure the safety of the vessel as well as the environment,? he earlier said. Estimates showed that there are about 1,000 vessels in either hot or cold lay-up all over the world, and about half of these are container vessels and 200 are bulkers. The rest are various types of vessels, which now include tanker vessels, as the global economic slump deepens.
The Philippines has limited success in tapping the lay-up services, cornering less than 100 vessels that needed to be parked, compared with Southeast Asian peers such as Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore.
PPA earlier said it has already identified areas around the country where the vessels can be laid up.