DOTr orders investigation into Quezon ferry incident following Duterte’s call to probe

Image via Mercraft’s Facebook page

Following President Duterte’s call to all concerned agencies to look into the sea mishap, the Department of Transportation on Saturday, has ordered an investigation regarding the capsized ferry incident that happened between Dinahican, Quezon and Polilio Island where at least five people were reported dead.

DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade, in his statement as disclosed in a story shared by ABS-CBN News,  ordered the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) to investigate on the ferry sinking accident that happened in northeastern Philippines off Infanta town on Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017.

“We want this latest incident of sea mishap be investigated on as quickly and as soon as possible so we can immediately implement safety nets and preventive measures. Ensuring the safety and security of travellers must be our priority,” his statement read.

“Meanwhile, PCG Commodore Joel Garcia said that there was no overloading of the capsized vessel, which has an authorized capacity of 286 passengers. There were 251 passengers, and seven crew members were on board the vessel when it sank.”

It was reported that the Mercraft 3 sank because of the bad weather. 243 passengers were reported to have survived the accident, while six have been retrieved, and three others have not yet been found.

In the statement, it added: “For his part, MARINA Administrator Al Amaro said that MARINA will facilitate immediate determination of the cause of accident in order to ensure passenger safety.”

Moreover, the ferry boat’s owner have already shouldered the victims’ hospital bills, and offered financial assistance to families and relatives of the deceased.