BORACAY – The Caticlan-Boracay Transport Multi-purpose Cooperative (CBTMPC) is open to embrace the government’s ongoing Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program.
CBTMPC chairman Godofredo Sadiasa said they are committed to modernize 25 fiber glass boats before their franchise will expire on 2021.
The transport cooperative and Sangguniang Panlalawigan in Malay recently appealed to the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) to gradually implement the phase out for a period of five years from 2019 to 2023 to fully comply the circular.
In its Circular No. 2016-02, the Maritime Industry Authority enjoined all transport groups to phase out wooden-hauled vessels carrying passengers in domestic shipping.
“If we don’t take the chances to gradually modernize our existing fleet, other companies might operate in our present routes,” Sadiasa said.
Currently, the transport cooperative has 58 wooden hauled boats and 11 fiber glass boats operating Caticlan-Boracay or Tabon-Boracay routes 24/7.
“At first, boat owners were apprehensive of the modernization plan, but society is evolving. Darating ang pagbabago sa transport sa Boracay and we have to think about it. Gradually boat owners will realize that habang may dagat may hanapbuhay tayo,” he said.
Sadiasa added the modernization plan of wooden-hauled boats in Malay, Aklan will surely have an adverse impact on livelihood and finances of boat owners and employees. At present, CBTMPC has 4,000 members and around 400 boatmen mainly rely on daily incomes from tourism business.
He is hoping boat owners and the cooperative will be able to secure assistance from government banks to start up the modernization plans. (With a report from Akean Forum/PN)