MARINA to phase out wooden passenger vessels in Western Visayas

The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) will phase out wooden passenger vessels plying various routes in Western Visayas.

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The phasing out meant to address accidents that mostly involved wooden vessels, according to MARINA 6 regional director Mary Ann Armi Arcilla.

“We will just gradually do it because we cannot automatically push our operators to improve from wooden hull to steel hull or fiber glass because there is no banking institutions that could let them borrow money,” she said.

The timeline is by 2018 there would be no more wooden passenger vessels that are operating she said.

Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Iloilo station manager Lieutenant Ramil Palabrica said that majority of passenger boats plying Iloilo to Guimaras and vice versa will be affected as most of them are made of wood.

Currently, there are 52 wooden passenger boats travelling from Jordan, Guimaras to Iloilo and vice versa and 56 wooden passenger boats travelling from Iloilo to Buenavista, Guimaras and vice versa.

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He added that other wooden passenger boats that will be affected are those operating in Victorias City, Negros Occidental to Ajuy, Iloilo; Pulupandan, Negros Occidental to Guimaras; Cadiz, Negros Occidental to Bantayan, Cebu and as well as those in Boracay Island.

Palabrica expressed his support to the program of MARINA as it will further assure the safety of the passengers.

Arcilla, however, pointed out that cargo vessels will not be included in the proposed phase out.

MARINAalso said that affected boat operators have already been informed about the program although they are still waiting for the final advise from their central office. [via PNA]

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