The Mindanao Leg of the nationwide information awareness campaign of the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) on the Rights of Sea-going Passengers in Cases of Cancelled, Delayed, and/or Uncompleted Voyages drew more than a hundred of passengers at the Cagayan de Oro Port on 24 October 2019.

Passengers who were waiting for their boarding time were cordially invited to the activity and were ushered to the venue inside the Passenger Terminal Building. The PMO MO/C provided live streaming of the said activity at the Port’s Temporary Facility-1, to reach a whole lot more passengers who were the target audience of the said campaign in order for them to know their rights, as well as the obligations of domestic operators in cases of canceled, delayed, and/or unfinished/uncompleted voyages.

Port Manager Isidro V. Butaslac Jr. said in his welcome message that the Bill of Rights was crafted so the passengers can have the utmost convenience and comfort in their travels. He added that on the part of PPA, exemption of the students, senior citizens, PWDs, active uniformed personnel, and recipients of the medal of valor and their first-degree dependents from payment of the Passenger Terminal Fee was already being implemented. A One-Ticketing System was also being proposed so the public can buy vessel tickets conveniently. All these initiatives were under the Department of Transportation’s umbrella of “Malasakit at Serbisyo.”

The Philippine Coast Guard District of Northern Mindanao and Philippine Liner Shipping Association (PLSA) also expressed their strong support to the Bill of Rights.

MARINA Region-10 Regional Director Felisa N. Orongan stated that the MARINA Memorandum Circular was approved in September 2018 after a series of consultations from stakeholders. She told that the agency is open to any concerns and/or complaints relative to the passengers’ welfare.

The sea passengers’ rights are summed up into six categories: (1) Right to Information; (2) Right to Refund; (3) Right to Revalidation of Ticket; (4) Right to Amenities; (5) Right to Compensation; and (6) Right to Comparable Transport (for uncompleted voyages only). All these rights are applicable only for causes attributable to the shipping operator. (For details, please refer to MARINA Circular No. 2018-07).  Shipping operator/s failing to give the services due to the passengers will be penalized depending on the grave of the offense. — By IMR Lam