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Its a pity that Dr. Maximo Mejia Jr. HAS exposed his
ignorance in front of the legislators and in public. Dr.
Mejia has become a laughing stock in the seafaring
industry after using the terminology misloaded which
is never heard of in the maritime industry circle.
When Dr. Mejia was appointed as the administrator of
MARINA, the people of the maritime industry has high
expectations on him due to his credentials being a
graduate of U.S. naval Academy, a master of Arts in Law
and Diplomacy in Fletcher School, a Master of Science in
Maritime Safety Administration from the World Maritime
University, a Doctor of Philosophy from Lund University
and in the last 15 years he was a professor in the World
Maritime University.
It is sad to say, that Dr. Mejia demonstrated in public his
very little understanding in this field and in the
administration where he is sitting now when he was
confronted in congress on the sinking of M/B Nirvana.
Veteran seafarers were shocked when Dr. Mejia answered
that the cause of the sinking of the M/B Kim Nirvana was
due to misloading.
Mejia went on further, that based on his calculation,
there was no overloading in terms of weight. This line of
argument exposed his poor knowledge on how the
capacity of a passenger vessel is being measured in
terms of carrying the number of passenger. A professor
that he is and considered an expert in maritime safety, he

must know that the definition of gross tonnage is a

measurement of total capacity expressed in volumetric
tons of 100 cubic feet. It is calculated by adding
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the under deck tonnage and the internal volume of tween
deck and deck space use for cargo. Everybody knows that
passengers and dry cargoes and break bulk are different
except perhaps in the eyes and line of thinking of Dr.
Mejia even bragged that in his computation, M/B Nirvana
can carry 178 carabaos. I cannot understand why Mejia
said this. Its ridiculous, Engr. Nelson Ramirez, president
of United Filipino Seafarers said. Carrying livestocks and
carrying frozen meat are two different things. I challenge
Dr. Mejia to go to Ormoc and load 50 live carabaos on
board the sister ship of M/V Kim Nirvana. If that wooden
hulled banca which is made of thin marine plywood will
not sink in less than half an hour, then he deserved to be
in his post or even the post of secretary general of the
International Maritime Organization ( IMO0 which he
failed to get miserably when he run for that post. But if he
cannot prove what he is saying, then he must file his
resignation immediately.
To say that kahit 178 na kalabaw ang isakay sa M/B Kim
Nirvana, hindi ito lulubog basta maayos ang
pagkasalansan is unbelievable. Papaano mo naman
isalansan ang mga kalabaw, aber Ramirez added.
If it is true that a 35 gt. wooden hulled outrigger can carry
300 passengers then why wont Dr. Mejia go all over the

country and tell the shipowners who owns a 500 grt. ro-ro
vessels to re-register their vessels in MARINA to carry
7,000 passengers or more because MARINA made a very
wrong computation before when they made their
computation on passenger vessels based on the space
provided for the passengers and not in the volume of
space in metric tons and the weight of passengers as
what Mejia wants the people in the industry to believe on
what he is saying now. That is, if he believes that the
computation of a passenger vessel is the same as the
computation of a
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general cargo vessel which he was explaining in
congress. As far as everybody in the maritime industry
know a 500 grt. Ro-ro can carry a maximum capacity of
300 passengers. This figure can easily be verified in the
record section of MARINA but perhaps, Dr. Mejia is not
studying his lessons. .
Dr. Mejia should know that the biggest passenger ship in
the world, the M/V Oasis of the Seas which is 220,000
grt., with a length of 361 meters and a beam of 60.5
meters carries only a maximum capacity of 5,400
passengers. Unlike the M/V Doa Paz which was only
2,215 grt., with a length of 93 meters and a beam of 13.6
meters she carried more than 5,000 passengers when
she sunk. Doesnt he know that passengers are counted
in numbers and not weight in kilos? I cannot understand
why he doesnt know this simple fact about passenger
vessels, Ramirez added. Sana, tinitimbang ang lahat
ng pasahero na sasakay ng barko kung tama ang
kanyang sinasabi added Ramirez. Doesnt he know that

passenger vessels carrying more than 100 passengers

are required to have an inflatable liferafts, like all the roro vessels plying the domestic route? Then why did
MARINA exempt M/B Kim Nirvana in this requirement?
Does he just want to make a cover up for the misdeeds of
his men and his administration?
Once again, I challenge Dr. Mejia to answer the following
questions in front of the legislators and to the seasoned
marine surveyors and master mariners (1) How did the
MARINA surveyors conducted an inclining experiment and
how they were able to determine the plimsoll mark or
loadwaterline of M/B Kim Nirvana. (2) What kind of
examination did the captain of M/B Nirvana took and
what questions were asked. (It is an open secret in the
industry that such license can be bought for Php 25,000)
(3) Why is it that in the registration of M/B Kim
Nirvana on May 2015 was only 144 but on June 2015 the
carrying capacity was increased to 178 when there no
modifications made and why is the insurance is only good
for 144 pasengers? (4) Why is MARINA is violating their
own Memorandum Circular 190 series of 2003 in the
phasing out of wooden hulled vessels?
Thousands of innocent lives were lost and we havent
learned a lesson. Violators are still in their comfortable
seats because they are the ones conducting the
investigation like the Board of Marine Inquiry which is
headed by the Philippine Coast Guard and MARINA which
obviously will not incriminate themselves.

MARINA is armed with a law that can make reforms in

government policies towards shipping but has been
sitting on it for 11 years.
MARINA also passed a Memorandum Circular in 2003 on
the phasing out of wooden hulled vessels but in the last
12 years they ignored it. Dr. Mejia even admitted that he
had been studying the law on how to implement it for 2
years but its a pity that until now he cant comprehend
MARINAs prime role when it was created is to promote
the economic development of the maritime industry
which is shipbuilding, shipbreaking, drydocking and
repairs, transshipment of cargoes and the expansion of
the Philippine registered vessels. They must have
concrete plans on how to improve the domestic shipping
because this is the crucial link between our local
economy in hauling people and products from one island
to the other.
MARINA must push for the Domestic Shipping
Modernization Program by providing incentives to
shipowners who wants to buy brand new vessels. The
Development Bank of the Philippines on the other hand
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must lend the money needed by the shipowners and
encourage them to acquire brand new vessels and not
second hand vessels that may be used as security loans.
Our immediate recommendations on the sinking of M/B
Kim Nirvana are the following: (a) Immediate suspension
of the MARINA OIC of Region 8 who approved the
Certificate of Convenience of M/B Kim Nirvana and the

surveyors who conducted the inspection and charges

must be filed against them for Dishonesty, Gross
Negligence and Abuse of Authority (2) Key positions in
MARINAS related to Maritime Safety must be given to
those who are qualified and experienced or experienced
management level ship officers. (3) Pass the bill creating
the Admiralty Court.

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