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Philippine Coast Guard detains 17 vessels involved in Zambales dredging

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has detained 17 of 28 inspected vessels involved in dredging activities in Zambales from March 19 to 21, 2024.

PCG Spokesperson CG Rear Admiral Armando Balilo said that three of these vessels are foreign (China, Sierra Leone, and Panama), while 25 are bareboat charters registered in the Philippines. The 17 detained vessels are all bareboat charters registered in the Philippines.

Based on the directive of PCG Commandant, CG Admiral Ronnie Gil L Gavan, Coast Guard personnel conducted marine environmental protection (MEP) inspection and vessel safety enforcement inspection (VSEI) on board these vessels – recording 344 deficiencies for adjudication of the Coast Guard Station (CGS) Manila.

During the inspections, PCG personnel secured a copy of issued Special Permits (SP) and Bareboat Charter (BBC) by the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) to compare it with the list of identified dredgers and suction cutters in Zambales.

On March 19, 2024, the Port State Control (PSC) Division Subic inspected three foreign vessels that were involved in dredging activities:

(1) Cutter Suction Dredger (China) with six deficiencies;

(2) Anchor Boat (Sierra Leone) with seven deficiencies; and

(3) Tugboat (Panama) with 12 deficiencies.

On March 20, 2024, Coast Guard personnel inspected 1 Suction Cutter 1 Tugboat and 1 Anchor Boat and identified several deficiencies. The PCG issued Enforcement Inspection Apprehension Report (EIAR) for adjudication of the CGS Zambales.

Furthermore, 13 dredgers within the area of responsibility (AOR) of CGS Manila, were also found with several deficiencies. They were issued with EIARs for adjudication, while nine of them have been detained.

On March 21, 2024, eight of 10 inspected vessels were also seized due to 30 detainable deficiencies. More than 150 deficiencies were identified and listed with corresponding EIARs to be adjudicated by CGS Manila.