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Marina stops registration of wooden hulled boats

Marina stops registration of wooden hulled boats
TED CORDERO August 30, 2019

The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) has stopped accepting registrations for new wooden-hulled passenger vessels as part of the Department of Transportations (DOTr) move to modernize the industry and ensure passenger safety at seas.

"We have to phaseout the wooden-hulled... We issued directive na we will not anymore register 'yung mga bagong wooden hull," MARIAN officer-in-charge Administrator Narciso Vingson Jr. said on the sidelines of the Maritime Safety Summit in Manila on Friday.

The MARINA has issued the directive two weeks ago, Vingson said.

"Kasi kapag di namin ini-stop tuloy tuloy pa rin ang paggawa ng wooden hull," he said.

The MARINA said it will also not be renewing the registrations of those existing wooden-hulled passenger boats and wait for it to expire.

"Wxisting wooden-hulled boats with registration they have an expiration for five years and after that we will not be renewing," Vingson said, noting that boats can only be registered if it will be made from fiberglass or steel-hulled.

In his remarks, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade
cited the sea mishap in the Iloilo-Guimaras Strait early this month, wherein 12 people were killed after three motor bancas capsized while sailing amid strong monsoon winds.

Tugade said the DOTR has issued a Department Order to phaseout wooden-hulled boats in 2016.

"I want huge push to implement this," the Transportation chief said.

Vingson said the planned phaseout will greatly affect the industy as 80% out of the 7,000 registered ships are wooden-hulled.

"But we will not compromise safety," the MARINA chief said.

The government will follow the model of the PUV Modernization Program and provide financial support mechanism for thos who will be affected by the planned wooden-hulled boats phaseout.

"They can form a cooperative because a single owner cannot afford a fiberglass ship which costs around P5 million to P8 million," Vingson said.

"We have support mechanism, tutulungan natin sila," he said.

Apart from replacing the wooden boats with stell or fiberglass, Tugade also said that ports must be RoRo (roll on-roll off) ready so that sea travel will not relly on wooden-hulled boats.

Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) General Manager Jay Santiago said the PPA is already retrofitting ports to make it suitable for RoRo ships. —NB, GMA News