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Ship needs to be removed

The move of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) asking 2Go Travel to remove the sunken ship MV Saint Thomas Aquinas has earned the support of an environmental watchdog as it poses threat to navigation.

Like the PCG, Greenpeace found a compelling reason for the shipping line to salvage the ship because it could cause environmental and navigational problems unless urgent action is taken.

“It is imperative that the MV Thomas Aquinas be removed out of the water immediately as the ship is near the only double barrier reef bank in the country, the Danajon Bank, known historically as the evolutionary source of fish and coral species in the Philippines,” said Greenpeace Southeast Asia Oceans Campaigner Vince Cinches.

The PCG had asked 2Go Travel to remove its passenger and cargo vessel in a letter sent by Cebu Station head Commander Weniel Azcuna sometime last week.

The PCG, however, has not yet received any response from the shipping line.

“We are still waiting for reply from the company but we have not given them the specific timeline but what
we stated is an immediate salvage,” Azcuna said.

Commodore William Melad, district commander of Central Visayas, said the PCG is leaving the salvage plan on MV Saint Thomas Aquinas to its owner. (Raymund F. Antonio)