stop sulpicio?

the exchange in the comments section of manolo‘s post supporting the blogswarm “stop sulpicio lines” is worth sharing – an edited version, of course, highlighting why the stopping of sulpicio is problematic.

banat ni djb rizalist (bully for him ;)

Considering the volume of cargo and passenger traffic that Sulpicio Lines handles, it is inconceivablethat their operations would be entirely taken out…that would cause a major economic dislocation, not to say suffering on the part of many impoverished families and big and small businesses.

Could the upshot (of) a successful campaign against Sulpicio then merely result in the government taking it over, as GMA has hinted? Would that not conceivably result in some even bigger tragedy, considering that the typhoon season has barely begun? I’m mad at Sulpicio Lines too, but what exactly are we asking for here?”

susog ni bencard:

given that sulpicio is the ONLY major shipping line in the philippines providing relatively cheap transportation to and from each major island of the country, how could you afford to stop its operations instantaneously, even if you could legally? do you think “accidents” would not occur under someone else’s control, including the government’s? meanwhile, should life for all the people and families depending on the company be put on hold while a suitable replacement is being determined?”

agree si dominique:

More than punitive measures we need remedial measures to address the shipping industry, in terms of safety, competition, and cost.

suggest ni cvj:

Since the government needs funds, taking over Sulpicio so that its earnings from operations can fund the improvement of the shipping industry, instead of further enriching the Go Family, should be looked into. Perhaps it can temporarily be attached to the Philippine navy, which also need ships.

agree si leytenian:

This tragedy is not only domestic. The history and bad reputation of this company will actually scare foreign capital and hurt our credibility even further. Let’s do what’s right for the country and for the majority. (Under the government) the students and seniors will enjoy a discounted rates, at the same time small businesses can be subsidized thru discounted shipping of goods. The government can hire more employees…

unimpressed si kg:

government takeover? yeah winston garcia should do it but with the same fleet? rejects junk and retirable vessels, what can a government takeover do. are we back to the question of nationalization and denationalization.

say ni bencard:

cvj, while the navy may have the knowhow to sail a ship for sea battle, i don’t know if it has the expertise to operate a shipping line to transport passengers and cargo. it sounds “simple, really” but i think there’s more to sailing a commercial ship than just keeping it afloat and reaching its destination. so you guys think the government can handle it better, huh? can you name one government-run common carrier that operates efficiently and prosperously? are you familiar with the manila railroad co. and what happened to it after the politicians took over?

balik ni cvj:

The logic of resorting to privatization because we fear the incompetence of government has reached its limit in the case of Sulpicio. We have seen how market forces and private competition are useless against the negligence of an oligopoly. In any Society, government is the last resort to handle these kinds of failures, so at some point,we have to tackle the problem of government incompetence head on. Failing to rejuvenate government would leave us at the point where the public has no choice but to tolerate the practices of Oligarchs like the Go family.

sa ganang akin cvj and leytenian have a point, but it aint gonna happen – there’s simply no rejuvenating government overnight; maybe in 2010 ;)

samantala it doesn’t have to mean we’re tolerating the practices of oligarchs like the go family. not if sulpicio is allowed to resume operations only under certain conditions:

1. ititigil nito ang paghahabla sa pagasa at ang pagbintang kay god. sa halip ay aaminin, aakuin, ang major responsibility for the disaster, magpa-public apology, and magpa-promise to indemnify both survivors and victims’ families in appropriate amounts, the records to be open to public scrutiny

2. upang ma-break ang pattern of disasters na associated na with “sulpicio lines,” the owners will change the name of the shipping line and the ships – enough already with the donyas and prinsesas – again in the full glare of the public eye, sabay upgrade its safety standards, thus signalling a rebirth, a new beginning, and hopefully better karma all around for a change.


  1. @Mong, uhmm, where would these workers go? To other shipping lines.. other companies.. if there is a void because of a Sulpicio shutdown, other companies will need able workers, the market provides for that..

    There is no sure thing, but at least these workers will have a chance at life.. We can’t say this for those who died in the tragedy..

    I don’t agree with any form of economic argument regarding this situation.

    To simply let this tragedy go, all because The Go Family has a foothold on the industry, provides for an easy out for the Oligarchs that run this country.

    If we can’t provide a harsh punishment for negligence that cost the lives of hundreds of Filipinos, that says a lot about our society.

    In short Mong, that argument just doesn’t fly with me. Because it provides another excuse to escape accountability.

    It gives us an out, instead of thinking, we close our minds.

    What about providing for a 2 month unemployment benefit, and then helping to relocate these employees? Negotiating with other companies to let these workers get the first shot at open positions? What about……..

    Let’s think please. One drawback shouldn’t be used as an excuse to let the guilty be set free. A drawback is simply a challenge, not a permanent roadblock.