Written 18 Feb 2011 aboard Ocean Jet fast craft — I am astounded! We have just cast off from the Dumaguete port on the AM Ocean Jet service to Cebu. Actually, “cast off” is far too generous a term for what happened. You see, there was no bollard present at the corner of the wharf where the vessel had been “secured”. It was missing! Gone! Not there!
In lieu, the boat was attached to a large piece of what appeared to be driftwood. Any unforeseen tide, current, wave or gust of wind could have separated us from the port at any time. I would not have believed it had my own eyes not have witnessed it!
How long has this state of affairs persisted? More importantly, how long will you permit it to continue to exist? Is it not the responsibility of the Port of Dumaguete to maintain the fixed facilities of the port in a good and safe state of repair? Would prudence not dictate that it offer a safe and complete berth to any regularly scheduled passenger carrier using the port? Indeed, should this not be the case with all vessels secured at the Port?
And what of the carrier, Ocean Jet? Should not its paramount concern be for the safety of its fare paying passengers? Would prudence not dictate that the carrier refuse to accept an unsafe berth?
This activity takes place in the public eye. Many of the travelers are passengers from abroad. The Philippines has an excellent international reputation for its sailors and their seamanship. Is it right for this reputation to be diminished by the unacceptable and unsafe condition of its port facilities?
I repeated this trip in reverse from Cebu to Dumaguete on 14 March 2011. To my astonishment, this situation had still not been addressed. This time I had my camera with me. The attached photo reveals the situation at 19:47 that evening.
For your needed remedial action on an urgent basis and comment, should you feel so inclined. I have copied this information to the carrier and to this reputable local newspaper.
David C. Fitz-Gibbon
Colon Ext., Dumaguete City