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Tugade orders lifting of ban on Iloilo-Guimaras boat trips

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Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade has ordered the lifting of the ban on the operation of the motorized bancas plying the Iloilo-Guimaras routes.

“I (have) issued instruction to lift suspension subject to certain conditions: eg fair weather only, 75% load capacity, rolling of tarps, wearing life vests throughout the voyage, etc. Marina/pcg/ppa now considering,” said Tugade in a text message to Iloilo City Rep. Julienne “Jam” Baronda.

Baronda said the resumption of sea travel would address the plight of the passengers stranded in both Guimaras and Iloilo ports.

“While the safety of the passengers is our utmost concern as they travel at sea, we should also take into consideration the advantage in time, convenience, expense and expediency of sea travel by way of motorized bancas including the impact to the local economy of the Province of Guimaras,” she added.

A total of 31 people died from the capsize of three ferries at the Iloilo- Guimaras Strait last August 3.