Looming ban on wooden bancas in Guimaras 'too abrupt', says governor

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 08 2019 08:04 AM

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The transportation department's plan to ban the use of wooden-hulled boats in the Iloilo-Guimaras Strait is "too abrupt" and might affect the livelihoods of some 500 residents, a local official said Thursday.

At least 31 people were killed when 3 motorized, wooden boats overturned due to bad weather on Saturday, the Philippine Coast Guard earlier said.

"Nagdesisyon iyung [Transportation] Secretary [Arthur] Tugade na baka ibawal na ang wooden hull. Kaya lang, medyo mahirapan kami dito sa Guimaras because it's too abrupt," said Guimaras Governor Samuel Gumarin.

"Baka maapektuhan ang almost 500 local sailors namin dito at the same time iyung mga local land transport namin. Sa ngayon, our economy is hurting," he added.

(Secretary Tugade decided that wooden-hulled boats might be banned. But we may find that difficult here in Guimaras because it's too abrupt. It might affect almost 500 local sailors and at the same time, our local land transport. Our economy right now is hurting.)

Authorities are reviewing the protocol for allowing sea trips during bad weather and the design of pump boats.

Heavy rains on Wednesday prevented President Rodrigo Duterte from visiting Guimaras, said Gumarin.

Scores of people die each year from ferry accidents in the Philippines, an archipelago of 7,100 islands with a poor record for maritime safety.
 
DZMM, August 8, 2019