BATANGAS CITY – In preparation for the upcoming Lenten season, the Department of Transportation (DOTr), through the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), formally launched the awareness campaign on the rights of sea passengers in cases of cancelled, delayed, and uncompleted voyages, at the Batangas Port in Batangas City yesterday, 11 April 2019.
The campaign aims to inform the public of their rights, as well as the obligations of shipping operators in cases of trips at sea that cause inconvenience to passengers. The MARINA established these rights to intensify and ensure their protection against inefficient shipping services for the promotion of public welfare and safety. Together with the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), the MARINA assures the public of its full enforcement.
DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade lauded the efforts of MARINA, in cooperation with the PCG and PPA, in disseminating timely and proper information to the public regarding their rights when traveling by sea.
“Sea travel remains a popular mode of transportation for many Filipinos lalo na ‘ho ngayong Semana Santa. Mahalaga na alam ng mga kababayan natin ang kanilang mga karapatan dahil hangad nating mabigyan ng ligtas, maayos at maginhawang biyahe ang mga Pilipino. Salamat sa inisyatibong ito ng MARINA para sa publiko,” Secretary Tugade said.
“The DOTr is all-set for the Lenten season. Our Malasakit Help Desks stationed on major transportation hubs across the country offer public assistance and heightened security measures needed for the full implementation of the ‘Oplan Biyaheng Ayos: Semana Santa 2019’,” DOTr Undersecretary for Maritime Fernando Juan Perez added.
MARINA Officer-in-Charge Vice Admiral Narciso Vingson Jr. likewise stressed the need to put public welfare front and center, especially during holiday seasons when passenger volume significantly increases.
“As the nation prepares for its celebration of the Lenten season and for the peak of summer season, MARINA hopes that this regulation provides assurance that the government cares for the general welfare of our sea passengers,” Vice Admiral Vingson stated.
Apart from the PCG and PPA, the launching of the awareness campaign on the rights of sea passengers was made possible with the active cooperation of the Office of the President (OP), Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Office for Transportation Security (OTS), and the Philippine National Police (PNP).
Rights of Sea Passengers
Under the campaign, the MARINA emphasizes that sea passengers of a cancelled or delayed voyage have the right to information, as well as the right to refund or right to revalidation of their tickets.
If the sea passengers choose to revalidate their tickets, they may also avail of the right to amenities such as snacks or meals and free accommodation if deemed necessary, while waiting for their rescheduled trip.
The MARINA also clarifies that the right to compensation of sea passengers for a cancelled or delayed voyage applies only if the free accommodation is not practicable for the shipping operator.
Meanwhile, sea passengers of an uncompleted voyage have the right to information, right to amenities, right to compensation, as well as the right to be transported to their destination.
The MARINA notes that the rights of sea passengers are absolutely applicable only if the causes of cancelled, delayed, or uncompleted voyage are attributable to the shipping operator.
The public is encouraged to read the MARINA Circular 2018-07 for the terms and conditions of the rights of sea passengers that may be accessed at the official MARINA website (marina.gov.ph).
Passengers are also encouraged to report non-compliance of shipping operators by filing a complaint through these contact details: 0995 400 7336 or +632 521 804