The Philippine Coast Guard in Dumaguete has confirmed that the 51.05 tons of tanbarks, ferried on a motor launch that had engine trouble off Siaton, Negros Oriental, recently, had been transported to Cebu after they were found to be covered by proper documents.
Lt. Commander Agapito Bibat, commander of the Coast Guard station in Dumaguete, said employees of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources verified that the tanbarks, or the bark of various trees used as tannin source, or as coloring for “tuba” or coconut wine, have legitimate papers for transport.
The DENR allowed the cargo to be transported to Cebu, its original destination, loaded on the M/V Filipinas Ozamis, a RORO ship that left the port of Dumaguete on Wednesday, he added.
The tanbarks, packed in 1,997 sacks, were being transported by the Motor Launch Amina from the Sta. Maria wharf in Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte, when it experienced engine trouble some 85 nautical miles off Siaton.
A fishing boat, F/B Joan 3, bound to Cebu from Palawan, responded to the distress call and towed M/L Amina to the Dumaguete port, at about 11:3 0 a.m. Monday, Bibat said.
He added that no complaint has been filed on the release of the tanbarks, earlier reported to have been confiscated by authorities in Tawi-tawi. Bibat said he was informed that the tanbarks were auctioned in Mindanao when no one claimed ownership of them.
The ML Amina, meanwhile, is currently docked at the Dumaguete port awaiting the repair of its damaged engine, Bibat said.*JFP
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