‘BAD FOR GUIMARAS’ Grounding of motorboats hurts economy – Gumarin

Guimaras Gov. Samuel Gumarin
Guimaras Gov. Samuel Gumarin

GUIMARAS – The grounding of motorboats plying the Iloilo-Guimaras route has made it difficult for people here to go to Iloilo City to work, study or do business. It has also become harder to transport goods from this island province to the city and vice versa, according to Gov. Samuel Gumarin.

Acknowledging these concerns, the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) ordered four private shipping companies to send vessels that would serve the Iloilo-Guimaras route.

Marina decided to ground all motorboats on Monday following Saturday’s capsizing of three motorboats that killed 31 people.

“Our economy is agri-tourism propelled. The grounding of the motorboats is adversely affecting it. It has displaced Guimarasnons working in the motorboat sector. Please help us,” said Gumarin.

Aside from the four additional vessels, MARINA coordinated with the Philippine Navy through the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Central Command to deploy BRP Ivatan yesterday to Guimaras and help ferry passengers.

Gumarin said, “70 to 80 percent” of Guimaras’ needs are sourced from Iloilo.

It felt like Guimaras had become isolated, he lamented.

Past noon on Saturday, M/B Chi Chi and M/B Keshia, both bound for Guimaras from Iloilo City, were hit by a squall or a sudden gust of violent winds and rain. They capsized.

At around 4 p.m. Iloilo City-bound M/B Jenny Vince from Guimaras was hit by another squall and also capsized.

The three boats had a total of 83 passengers and 13 crewmen.

In a directive pursuant to Section 12 of Presidential Decree 474 issued on Aug. 5, two roll-on, roll-off (ro-ro) vessels from Montenegro Shipping Lines Inc. and Tri-Star Megalink Corp., and two fastcraft vessels from Ocean Fast Ferries, Inc. and 2GO Group, Inc. were ordered b MARINA to augment the services in the Iloilo-Guimaras route.

Earlier, FF Cruz Shipping Corp. was instructed to increase its trips from one to two ro-ro round trips per hour in the said route.

Gumarin appealed for livelihood assistance; some 10 percent of the around 40,000 households in the island is suffering, he said.

He considered Saturday’s tragedy as worse than the oil spill that hit Guimaras’ waters in 2006 in terms of its effects on the island’s economy.

Gumarin thanked Department of Transportation secretary Arturo Tugade and the Office of Civil Defense for the additional ro-ro trips from Guimaras to Iloilo and vice versa, and also the Philippine Navy for making available BRP Ivatan./PN

4 COMMENTS

  1. Grounding of pump boats hurts Guimaras’ economy but saves people’s lives. I’ve lived in Guimaras for over 10 years. Almost four years ago, nine people lost their lives one Sunday afternoon. My good friend Larry was a crew member of the Tawash that capsized on the Iloilo Strait.
    For two weeks after the Tawash tragedy, life jackets were required. Then some lawyers from Guimaras complained about their suits getting crumpled by wearing the life jackets. In the past four years I’ve made hundreds for trips from Guimaras to Iloilo and not once has any pump boat crew member requested the passengers to wear life jackets, most of which are old and dirty.
    I hope that the fast crafts and ROROs continue to operate and that the pump boat ban is made permanent.

  2. Bal an ta nga ang mga motorboat nga ina is a lifeblood of Guimaras. Business and Services embedded sa amo na nga transportation. So ang maayo na e push gid maayo kay presidente nga tagaan nya budget ang Guimaras Bridge. na una pa ang Samal Island sang sa Guimaras, nauna pa Boracay kag iban pa nga mga project sa Pilipinas sang sa Guimaras. Dapat ang mga pulitiko sa Guimaras kag Iloilo mag isa para itulod ina nga project. Kong indi amo man ina gihapon matabo kag matabo sa future. Ilabo sa bato

  3. Kon talagsa ka lng gapa.ct ok na sir. Pero may mga tawo nga adlaw2 nagatabok do you think ma.afford na sng budget nila ang RoRo and fastcrafts for long? Wala sng may gusto sng aksidente pero compare sa disgrasya sa salakyan mas taas pa kaysa sa pumpboat ang mortality. Kon may inclement weather untaton lng byahe. Parte na sng way of life sng mga guimarasnon ang pagsakay sa pumpboats. Kalulooy ang mga nagalinya adlaw2 agud makasakay lng sa RoRo nga mayo man ang tyempo. I am hopeful nga makabyahe sila liwat para sa kaayuhan sng tanan.

  4. Ang Fast crafts or ROROs is not a solution to the current problem in Guimaras boating transportation, we need a weather radar monitoring system Kinahanglan dira sa BALAAN Bukid para Mabal-an sang sakayanon Kon May mabaskog nga hangin ukon pugada nga naga palapit antis sila hatagan permisso nga matabuk. Ika duha kinahanglan naton sang dependable nga rescue team dira sa Guimaras to respond in few minutes not hours to wait. Also, we need to develop our patanlan dira sa Iloilo kag Guimaras.

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