Iloilo-Guimaras passenger boat trips allowed to resume
MANILA, Philippines – The Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) on Tuesday, August 13, lifted the suspension on motor banca operations along the Iloilo-Guimaras route.
Marina allowed the passenger boat trips to resume, subject to the following conditions:
- Motor bancas must carry passengers only up to 75% of their authorized capacity.
- Passengers must wear life jackets at all times.
- Motor bancas can only operate during fair weather.
- Motor bancas should have equipment for distress signals.
- Tarpaulins should be rolled up or removed.
The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) believes squalls or sudden strong gusts of wind sunk the 3 motor bancas.
An inter-agency investigation is ongoing, led by the Department of Transportation (DOTr), with Marina and the PCG.
Vice President Leni Robredo, who earlier called for the lifting of the ban on boat trips, thanked the DOTr "for listening to the public."
"Umaasa tayong simula ito ng pagiging mas bukas ng pamahalaan sa pagkonsulta sa ating mga kababayan sa paggawa ng mga hakbang na mas makapagpapabuti at makapagpapagaan ng kanilang pamumuhay," she added.
(We are hoping this is the beginning of the government's openness to consulting our countrymen when pursuing efforts that will improve their lives.)
Robredo had said that the ban was affecting people's livelihoods. She met with several survivors and relatives of the victims on Monday, August 12, and provided cash assistance through her Angat Buhay program. – with a report from Mara Cepeda/Rappler.com