Interagency group to assess Monad Shoal damages

The interagency group involved in the salvage operation of MV Belle Rose that ran aground in Monad Shoal, Malapascua last June 13 convened recently with Gov. Hilario Davide III for the resolution of  the damages caused by the incident.

This interagency cooperation is comprised of the Cebu Provincial Government, local government unit of Daanbantayan, Malapascua Business Owners Association, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR-7), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-7), Philippine Coast Guard, and the representatives from Crest Ocean Traders.

They agree to continue the coordination on all aspects of the restoration and rehabilitation of the coral reefs within the area of the grounded vessel.

It was also agreed during the meeting that the amount in payment of the damages will be based on the assessment of the Task Force Monad Shoal.

The task force is headed by the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer Baltazar Tribunalo. Its members include the Environment and Natural Resources officer,and representatives from the municipal government of Daanbantayan, DENR-7, BFAR-7, Philippine Coast Guard, and Maritime Industry Authority (Marina).

The team will conduct a reef and coral damage assessment, documentation, rehabilitation and restoration plans which will determine the most acceptable amicable settlement.

According to the executive order creating the task force, they are mandated to consolidate all the claims for the damages to determine the appropriate compensation including fines, penalties and charges.

Atty. Pedrito Faytaren Jr., legal officer of the shipping company, said that they are willing to conform to the terms and conditions of any agreed arrangement after the assessment.

The grounded ship was finally pulled out Monday morning and is now up in the deeper part of Daanbantayan municipal waters.