Home » Maritime, Ports/Terminals » 4 shipping lines deployed to Iloilo-Guimaras route

The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) has directed four shipping companies to serve the Iloilo-Guimaras route to accommodate current passenger traffic while it investigates the August 3 capsizing of three motorbancas plying the route.

Effective immediately, through a letter directive pursuant to Section 12 of Presidential Decree No. 474 issued on August 5, two of the shipping lines—Montenegro Shipping Lines, Inc. and Tri-Star Megalink Corp.—shall deploy one roll-on/roll-off (Ro-Ro) vessel each, while the other two—Ocean Fast Ferries, Inc. and 2GO Group, Inc—will each deploy one fastcraft.

This is in addition to the directive given to FF Cruz Shipping Corp., which operates this route, to increase the frequency of its voyages to two round trips per hour from one hourly by deploying two Ro-Ro vessels.

The directives came after operations of all passenger motorbancas plying the Iloilo-Guimaras route were suspended August 5 while MARINA conducts thorough safety standards assessment and evaluation in relation to the full implementation of MARINA Circular 2016-02, or the “Revised Rules on the Phase Out of Wooden-Hulled Ships Carrying Passengers in Domestic Shipping.”

The temporary suspension will remain until MARINA has ensured that all safety concerns over motorbancas are properly addressed. The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) shall also enforce the advisory on the temporary suspension until further notice.

These developments came after passenger motorboats M/B Chi-chi, M/B Keziah, and M/B Jenny Vince sank due to “squalls,” or sudden strong gusts of wind along the Iloilo-Guimaras route, leading to the death of more than 30 people. PCG on August 4 ruled out collision and overloading of passengers as causes of the accidents.

MARINA, meanwhile, continues to remind operators to ensure maritime safety at all times by observing the latest weather forecast, conducting proper risk assessment, and applying needed control measures.

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