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Boat captains told to implement mandatory wearing of lifejackets

Boat captains told to implement mandatory wearing of lifejackets
Louine Hope Conserva July 10, 2018

THE Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in Iloilo reminded boat captains that failure to implement the mandatory wearing or holding of lifejackets by passengers before departure will lead to penalties.
Lt. Rodolfo Dela Peña, PCG-Iloilo station commander, issued the warning after he noticed in one of his inspections that lifejackets are hanging on the seats or beams of passenger pump boats instead of worn or held by travelers.

“I already have a standing order to our personnel stationed in Buenavista and Jordan (Guimaras) as well as here in Parola and Ortiz Wharfs (Iloilo City) that motor bancas should not be allowed to leave if passengers are not holding the life-saving device,” he said.

Under Memorandum Circular No. 176 issued by the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), ship owners/operators/masters/officials and those responsible for the boarding of passengers shall require them to wear or hold their lifejackets as a compulsory/mandatory procedure at all time from boarding until disembarkation.
The Coast Guard reiterated the rule as the typhoon season sets in.

PCG-Iloilo deployed personnel at the wharves from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. to monitor their compliance.

Boat captains or crewmembers that do not follow the order will be penalized like the revocation of their licenses.

“It is the Coast Guard which apprehends them but we forward their case to MARINA for adjudication,” he said.

“Upon the departure of boats, it is now up to the captain to oblige the passengers to wear or hold them. Our role now will be monitoring if they safely arrived in their destination,” he added.
So far, PCG-Iloilo said they have not apprehended a single boat captain.

Dela Peña also appealed to the passengers to cooperate as he said it is also for their safety while traveling.

Meanwhile, Dela Peña said operations of motor bancas and fast crafts remain normal despite the monsoon rains brought by typhoon Gardo (international name Maria).

“Western Visayas is not yet affected by the typhoon so our trips are normal. We continue assessing the situation if ever there is a need for temporary cancellation of trips,” he added.