Thursday, September 4, 2008

High-tech gadgets rotting away

This refers to the news article titled, “Sulpicio Lines: case study in poor governance.” (Philippine Daily Inquirer, 7/26/08) The Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) requires ship owners to equip their companies and ships with high-tech navigational and communication equipment, such as Search and Rescue Transponder (SART), Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB), and Navtex. But these gadgets are all useless.

The country does not have any stations and equipment to pick up or receive the signals these gadgets emit if these were activated. Remember the Philippine Coast Guard has admitted that the equipment that should have been installed to precisely monitor and receive the signals is all rotting inside container vans!

So do away with these things, and may I suggest then that all the “bancas” (small boats) in the country be upgraded and provided with better engines, and all boatmen be trained in first aid and search and rescue. Give them cellular phones.

Why? Who are the first persons to arrive at the scene of a sea disaster? Fishermen in their trusted small bancas. They do the actual search and rescue.

Government? It just appears on TV and blames just about everybody except itself.

source: and

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