Three Philippine ferries came to grief in as many days starting on Christmas Eve. Dozens of lives lost in incidents that do not speak well of the nation that provides around 25 per cent of the world’s maritime manpower. With national elections scheduled for 2010 it is certain that the country’s politicians will leverage as much coverage as possible – personality and name recall win elections, not national issues and maritime safety, or lack of it, will not affect voters’ choices.
Hearings are being conducted in the legislature but it is unlikely that any new measures will make it through both the Senate and Congress before both go to the hustings. A far greater issue is the enforcement of existing laws and the need for a change of mindset.