No more MV Dona Paz! Report safety violations, get cellphone load rewards

by Ka Edong on April 7, 2009

Three years ago, I took a boat to Coron and saw how each and every passenger’s photo is taken by a webcam during pre-departure. I surmised this was a security measure.

This year, the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) is offering cell phone load worth P50 for each validated report of safety violations of shipping lines.

Text a safety violation, get free load

Text a safety violation, get free load

This is an innovative safety measure where citizen-participation is encouraged. I see at least two benefits and a down-side to this program.

(See full article from the Philippine Star: Alert passengers to get ‘pasa load’ )


First, MARINA is engages citizen passengers – the seafaring public – to report safety violations.  Safety violations include:

• Overloading,
• No or not enough life jackets,
• Smelly lifejackets,
• Intoxicated duty ship officials and crew,
• No directional signs on board the ship,
• Ship’s crew not in proper uniform, and
• Dirty and smelly toilets.

I could imagine that this is a good reporting and feedback campaign. We know from the past sea tragedies in the Philippines that we haven’t been upholding enough safety policies.  This will also help increase accountability of both ship operators and the coast guard.

Second, the campaign increases the awareness of citizens. The campaign gives citizens a level of influence or responsibility over their own safety.

How to report a safety violation:

The public can send their report by texting
marina_sumbong_ name/location/violation/vessel name to 2985.

Will the campaign work?

I hope so! Let’s do our share in avoiding another sea tragedy!

I just wonder whether the campaign is getting enough mileage in increasing awareness. I don’t travel by boat, so I couldn’t tell whether the campaign is reaching enough of it’s target audience.

If you did see this campaign when you rode the boat, do share.

I also see that the incentive — free cellphone load — is bound by limitations. The free load will be given only if the safety violation is verified. This is, of course, a control  — we don’t want the P50 reward to be given to bogus reports.

Downside of this control, though, is that it reduces the incentive. We know that a reward is more effective when given almost instantly.

Let’s see how the campaign goes. If you have an experience with this campaign, do share in the comments section below.

Have a safe trip! And have a meaningful Holy Week!

ka edong
safety first


  • Interesting campaign. It’s like a big Pandoras box they’re opening when you give passengers control. Im sure their will be guidelines on what can and not be reported. I hope it will work but more importantly the maritime industry will be quick to make the necessary improvements on their ships.

    Jason Bruces last blog post..God’s Hand Across the Universe

  • Hi Ed! Agree with you that this is a very interesting and innovative way to raise awareness for safety violations.

    Btw, let me just thank you for dropping by and commenting on my blog.

    All the best,

    New Media Philippiness last blog post..Marketer Feature: Francis Simsim, VP BlueWater Day Spa

  • maddy

    HI!!!! =] =^]B-)LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • jun


  • Great post! I am just starting out in community management/marketing media and trying to learn how to do it well – resources like this post are incredibly useful. As our organization is dependent in the US, it?s all a little bit new to us. The example above is something that I worry about as well, how to show your own genuine enthusiasm and write about the truth that your product is useful in that case.

  • this is good!
    lets help the authority catch those bastards… we customers always have the first hand information which authorities needs.

    lets help and protect.

  • It irritated me that my fans kept wanting me to retread old ground.

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