Hundirse o nadar en las Filipinas

MANILA – La tragedia del hundimiento del transbordador Princesa de las Estrellas frente a la costa de Romblon en las Filipinas –con centenares de cadáveres aún atrapados, según se cree– es una prueba de que el país no sólo es propenso a los desastres naturales, sino también a los provocados por el hombre. La decisión de permitir que el barco navegara directamente hacia la trayectoria del tifón Frank fue consecuencia de la pura y simple incompetencia.

Peor aún, la misma compañía naviera ha estado implicada en al menos otras tres tragedias en el mar en los 11 últimos años, incluido el desastre del “Doña Paz” en 1987, en el que murieron más de 4.000 personas y que fue calificado del mayor desastre marítimo del mundo en época de paz. Esa ejecutoria añade aún más ignominia a la sensación de pérdida padecida por los allegados de quienes murieron o desaparecieron. Si al menos las autoridades filipinas hubieran aprendido las enseñanzas que se desprenden de las pasadas tragedias, esta última se habría podido evitar perfectamente.

La legislación filipina, como la de la mayoría de las jurisdicciones del mundo, clasifica el ramo del transporte como un servicio público. No se ejerce como una actividad comercial corriente en las condiciones tradicionales del laissez-faire , sino como una a la que se ha conferido el carácter de interés público.

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