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Average age of ships in Philippines hits 34

Average age of ships in Philippines hits 34

Manila: All of the country's about 200 passenger and cargo ferries are almost 30 years old and should have been replaced a long time ago or sent to the scrap yard, according to maritime officials, local media reported last week.
"All of them are aging," said Transportation Undersecretary Thompson Lantion.
He said the average age of inter-island passenger ships in the country is 34 years. In many countries, this is considered too old to be seaworthy.
The domestic shipping industry is facing renewed scrutiny after two vessels carrying holidaying passengers sank during Christmas.
Marina and the transportation department officials said the domestic shipping industry was in need of an overhaul.
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has already ordered an audit of all passenger vessels in the wake of the recent sea mishaps.
Lantion said public and private agencies monitoring and regulating ferry companies have failed to implement major policies, despite circulars and memoranda from the government.
"There are problems in management, vessel systems and ticketing. The implementation is not being done," he said.  [04/01/10]

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