SAN JOSE, Antique – The Provincial Board here has requested for a P500,000 financial assistance for 142 motorboat owners on Mararison Island in Culasi town.
Board Member Victor Condez, who chairs the committee on transportation and communication, sponsored the resolution during their regular session on Jan. 16.
The resolution calls for financial help from the office of Lone District Rep. Loren Legarda for motorboat owners of the Mararison Community-Based Tourism Organization.
“The tourism industry and the livelihood of the people in the island of Mararison in Culasi, Antique suffered a major setback as a result of the refusal of the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) to renew the registration of motorboats plying Culasi to Mararison and vice versa,” Condez said.
In the resolution, Condez stated the demand for tourist travel to Mararison Island which has been promoted as a premier tourist destination in the province.
“The owners of the motorboats are in financial difficulty and they need assistance from the government in order to sustain their livelihood and income and directly contribute to the flourishing tourism industry,” Condez said.
Last year, the MARINA in Western Visayas told boat operators and boatmen to register their vessels or they would be considered operating “colorum” (unregistered) pump boats, adding their operations will be stopped if they failed to beat the Oct. 2019 deadline.
A boat owner has to pay around P20,000 to register a boat and P3,000 to P5,000 to renew the registration.
Motorboat operations in Mararison, except for three compliant operators, were stopped last December by the Philippine Coast Guard after it was informed by the MARINA that the boat owners have failed to renew their registrations despite warnings.(With a report from PNA/PN)