Marina OKs operations of passenger motor bancas plying Iloilo-Guimaras route
MANILA, Philippines — Subject to conditions, the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) on Tuesday lifted its earlier suspension order on the operations of passenger motor bancas serving the Iloilo-Guimaras route “to address the stranding of passengers in Guimaras.”
Operations of passenger motor bancas in the said route were earlier suspended by Marina following three boat mishaps at the Iloilo Strait which took the lives of at least 31 people.
In a memorandum, Marina said passenger motor banca operations will only be allowed under the following conditions:
- Passengers should wear life jackets at all times throughout the voyage;
- Motor bancas shall carry passengers up to 75 percent of their authorized capacity only;
- The tarpaulins/canvass shall either be rolled-up or removed;
- The operation of motor bancas shall be during fair weather only (i.e. winds are not more than Force 3 of the Beaufort scale and the wave height is not more than 0.5 meters;
- The operations will be from sunrise to sunset only
- The motor bancas shall be equipped with distress signals and equipment.
Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade earlier ordered the relief of six officials of the Philippine Coast Guard and Marina following the triple sea tragedy. /muf
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