Aklan SB seeks deferment of wooden boat phase out
The Sangguniang Bayan (SB) of Malay, Aklan wanted the phase-out of wooden-hulled boats transporting people to this island from Caticlan and vice versa be deferred, citing the current economic crisis resulting from the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.
The Covid-19 pandemic has adversely affected 800 boatmen and 60 boat operators due to tourism inactivity in Boracay Island.
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) and its attached agency Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) are pushing for the modernization of sea travel for a safer maritime public sector industry. They call for the phase-out of all wooden-hulled boats. (https://bit.ly/36ZVI4l)
SB member Ralf Tolosa said the council plans to recommend that MARINA and DOTr temporarily allow wooden-hulled boats to continue operating the Boracay-Caticlan route (and vice versa) until 2022.
“Ang ating mga boat operators committed to replace their existing boats ngunit dahil sa pandemya, hindi nila kaya ang cost. Humingi sila ng tulong sa atin para ma-extend ang planong phase-out,” said Tolosa, also the Liga ng mga Barangay president.
A fiberglass boat costs about P5 million to P7 million.