Robredo welcomes resumption of Iloilo-Guimaras boat trips
MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo hopes the resumption of Iloilo-Guimaras motor banca trips signals the start of a government that listens more to its people.
Robredo, who recently visited the families in Guimaras affected by the suspension of the boat trips, called it a welcome development, especially who rely on the trips for their livelihood.
Motorbanca operations in the area were suspended by the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina), an agency under the Department of Transportation (DOTr), after three boat accidents happened in the Iloilo Stait on Aug. 3, claiming the lives of at least 31 persons.
“We are hoping that this is the start of the government being more open to consulting our countrymen whenever it takes steps to improve and unburden their lives,” Robredo, speaking in Filipino, was quoted as saying in a statement.
On Monday, the Vice President appealed to the government to lift the suspension of boat trips after reports that it had a bad effect on people in Guimaras and Iloilo — especially in Guimaras which heavily relies on tourism.
Robredo also relayed concerns by people in the area, saying that roll-on and roll-off (Ro-Ro) boats could be considered as an option for travel as they prioritize cargo and other vehicles. Fastcrafts were also available, but they were more expensive.
“After our appeal, we are happy to know that the suspension on the trips has been lifted. We thank the Department of Transportation, under the leadership of Secretary Art Tugade for listening to the complaints of the people,” she said.
“Our office will remain open to supporting our countrymen in Iloilo and Guimaras in their efforts to recover,” she added.
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