MARINA Press Statement ON THE REPORTED STRANDING OF PASSENGERS IN GUIMARAS-ILOILO ROUTE

The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) wishes to inform that following the expiration of the Certificates of Public Convenience (CPC) of all wooden-hulled ships covered under MARINA Circular No. 2016-02, “Revised Rules on the Phase Out of Wooden Hulled Ships Carrying Passengers in Domestic Shipping” on 31 December 2020 has resulted in the temporary influx of passengers particularly those travelling the Guimaras – Iloilo Route at the start of this year. Following the expiration of their CPCs, wooden hulled ships are no longer allowed to operate or transport passengers and cargoes.

The issuance of the aforementioned MARINA Circular is imbued with public interest particularly in the promotion of maritime safety in domestic waters. Since the issuance of this policy in 2016, wooden hulled ship operators have been given ample time to modernize their ships to plastic reinforced or fiber reinforced plastic (FRP) boats.

At the policy level, the transitory period for the grant of CPC to wooden-hulled boats has been extended several times already, and this practice should be put an end. A CPC for wooden-hulled ships is valid for 5 years, without extension.

MARINA through its Regional Office in Iloilo City is closely monitoring the situation in Guimaras and has relaxed the schedule of trips of boats operating in Buenavista, Guimaras to Iloilo route and vice versa during peak hours from 5:00 am to 10 am and 3pm to 7pm, respectively,

MARINA assures the public that it has taken necessary steps to ensure that passengers travelling this route have reached their port of destination through the provision of available plastic reinforced or fiber reinforced plastic (FRP) boats and RoRo ships.

The MARINA, in collaboration with industry stakeholders, will pursue incentive schemes for domestic shipowners so that they would be able to acquire modern ships to replace wooden-hulled boats.

MARINA will continue to implement policies that will ensure seamless and convenient domestic sea travels by giving primordial consideration to the safety of passengers and cargoes through the introduction of modern and technologically advanced ships.