MANILA — Senator Grace Poe said that a thorough investigation should be conducted into the incident where a passenger ship capsized between Dinahican Point, Quezon, and Polillo Island Thursday morning.
“Although reports said that the ship was not overloaded, authorities should determine whether the cause of the mishap was an accident or a preventable man-made disaster. A thorough investigation should thus be conducted,” Poe said in a press statement.
Poe, chair of the Senate Committee on Public Services, meanwhile, reiterated her call for the creation of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
With the NTSB, Poe said this would ensure that better safety standards are in place to prevent disasters from happening.
The senator said that as an investigative body composed of experts, the NTSB could conduct an independent probe to piece together more reliable reports with recommendations to prevent future civil and public transportation mishaps.
At present, Poe said that the first order of the day is the immediate rescue of the passengers from the capsized ship.
“Rescue teams with adequate equipment should be deployed at once to ensure that all lives are saved,” Poe said.
At present, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has not yet verified the number of casualties as rescue operations are ongoing after MV Mercraft 3, bound for Polilio Island, sank off Quezon.
PCG said that over 200 passengers were onboard the sunken ship. PNA-northboundasia.com