“Modernized” boats made of fiberglass will soon ply the Guimaras-Iloilo and route vice versa.
The Province of Guimaras inaugurated Buenavista Motorbanca Owners and Sailors Association, Inc.’s (BAMOSA) first two modernized boats on September 24, 2020 at the McArthur’s Wharf in Sto. Rosario, Buenavista, Guimaras.
MB D’Invaders and MB Ron Jayredine are fiberglass boats that is the answer of the province for the call of the national government to modernize the sea transport in Guimaras after the August 3, 2019 Sea Tragedy that killed 31 lives.
MB D’Invaders can accommodate 80 passengers on a single trip while MB Ron Jayredine has a capacity of 60 passengers.
The two modern vessels built by Lord Fiber Glass, Inc. in Nabas, Aklan cost Php 6.3 million and Php 6 million respectively.
Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) Region 6 Director Jose Venanciao Vero said that the launching of the fiberglass boats ushered a new milestone for Guimaras.
“We are witness to a milestone in Guimaras because today is the first day na nag-launch tayo ng another type of service dito sa Guimaras,” Vero said.
The agency hopes that the arrival of the fiber glass vessels will attract more tourists and propel the economy of the island.
“I hope with this new development in Guimaras ‘yung mga visitors natin na mga turista, local and foreign, they can say that the people of Guimaras is really doing something to make travelling into the Province of Guimaras safer and more secure,” he added.
For Governor Samuel T. Gumarin, this is a new era for the island province and vowed to finish the modernization of the sea transport for the future of Guimaras.
“It’s a new era for what we said a better Guimarasnon. Ginsuguran naton ini kag amat-amaton matapos para sa future sang probinsiya sang Guimaras,” Gumarin said.
The biggest human tragedy that happened in the province is a realization that it is high time to modernize the sea transport according to the governor.
“It was a realization for each and everyone of us that we have to gather our thoughts, we have to plan for the future. Nakita liwat ang proposal sang MARINA, 2016, nga dapat amat-amat na kita modernized,” he added.
Gumarin admitted that it is painful to see that the wooden-hulled motorbancas being slowly eliminated.
The wooden motorbanca is a symbol of every Guimarasnon and have given livelihood to the people of the island.
Nevertheless, Guimaras must heed the call to improve sea transport that is one of the demands of the rising tourism industry in the island.
“Personally subo para sa akon because I was here ever since gamay pa ko, amo na ang amon ginasakyan. Makita nakon nga tani serviceable pa man ang aton mga pumpboats. Amo ini ang una nga ginpangabuhian namon diri. Masakit man sa akon, sa amon tanan diri, dapat indi lang ni madula bangud amo lang ni ang simbolo kun ano kami sa Guimaras, kun ano kami sa baybay, kun ano kami sa Buenavista. Yet ang aton gobyerno, labi na gid makita naton nga nagasaka ang aton tourism industry in the past years, damo na kita mabatian nga we have to improve our sea transport sa probinsiya sang Guimaras,” Gumarin expressed.
Director Vero clarified that wooden-hulled motorbancas will not be totally phased out as these can be used for tourism purposes.
“Hindi pa naman phase out ang mga pang tourist na bangka. They can do island hopping. Ang bangka na pang beach resort hindi kasama sa phase out,” Vero said.
The governor challenged the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) to do their share by providing a better facility for the fiberglass boats.
“We have abide sa modernization program, dapat providan niyo man kami sang nagakaigo nga pasilidad nga indi man ni sila magkalaguba. Because it cost us a lot,” Gumarin stressed.
The modern vessels will likely begin to operate on September 27, 2020 with a fare of Php 40.00 per person.