10 Bicol Light Stations Not Operating Despite Over Supply of Spare Parts

The Sabang light (house) station, in barangay Sabang, Calabanga, a beacon to the fishermen of San Miguel bay.

Special Report

Calabanga, CamSur, September 20, 2011- A total of ten light house stations in the six provinces of Region V (five) covered by the Bicol Coast Guard District are not operating, according to the agency’s web site. This is in the heels of a finding disclosed by the Philippine Commission on Audit that the agency has an over supply and excessive procurement of spare parts.

The ten not-operating light stations (LS) are Lacban (Rapu-rapu, Albay), Port Sula (Bacacay, Albay), Virac (Catanduanes), Canimo (Mercedes, CamNorte), Colongcogong (Caramoan, Camsur), Ocata (Lahug, CamSur), Tailon (Panganiban, CamNorte), Jintotolo (Balud, Masbate), Macalaya (Castilla, Sorsogon) and Pilar (Pilar, Sorsogon).

The Philippine Coast Guard manages 68 light house stations in the Bicol region, 10 of them are not operating. The Coast Guard in Legaspi (Albay) oversees 13 operational and 3 not- operating within the provinces of Catanduanes and Albay; CG Mercedes (Camarines Norte) handles 18, of which 4 are not- operating for the provinces of Camarines Sur and Camarines Norte; CG Masbate has 19 operational and 1 not- operating; and CG Sorsogon with 12 operational and 2 non-operating.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Commission on Audit recently released a report that there was an excessive procurement amounting to P250 million spare parts for lighthouses for the Philippine Coast Guard.

COA said the equipments were found idle in a stockroom of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) which remained unused for more than a year already.

The Commission on Audit questioned the excessive procurement as the Coast Guard is refusing to accept the spare parts because they still have one year’s supply in their own stockroom.

The audit report said some boxes are in the DOTC stockroom, which allegedly contain lighthouse spare parts, however it is not certain that the contents thereof are the exact items and quantity recorded in the books unless a detailed physical count is conducted.

With the over supply of spare parts, can somebody fix the lighthouses now?

In the town of Calabanga one instant impression crept into mind when I saw the lighthouse in barangay Sabang. It is not a sight to behold. But it has been there long enough and is serving well and good the local fishermen in the conduct of their livelihood.

Maybe without the light station, the fishermen from the municipalities surrounding the San Miguel bay can fish on day light hours only, when there’s ample sun to give them clear view and indication of the shore as they paddle back with their catch.

Another light station that operates within San Maguel bay is located in the town of Cabusao. Cabusao is just across the Bicol river from Balongay, Calabanga. Both lighthouses serves as the constant beacon of the San Miguel fishers.

Far out from the sea the fishermen can see the Sabang light station as it flickers a white signal every three seconds while the Cabusao light station flickers every five seconds. (https://cbanga360.net)


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