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pump boats at Ortiz in Iloilo

Guimaras Officials Issue Smackdown Above all, it’s a death knell for Guimaras/Iloilo travelers and Guimaras tourism. The Maritime Industry Authority, MARINA, has ceased the operation of over 90 wooden-hulled boats in Guimaras. The ban took effect January 1, 2021. Now only 10 sea-going vessels can ferry the 20,000-25,000 passengers that daily ply the Guimaras-Iloilo route. … Read more

Math-Challenged Guimaras Pump Boat Operator Delays Departure

First of all, mathematics wasn’t my favorite subject in school. Therefore, today’s post, “Math-Challenged Guimaras Pump Boat Operator Delays Departure” reveals someone else besides me has a problem with figures. However, in contrast to a local banca boat operator, I can count up to 30. Because of the Iloilo Strait sea tragedy, the Coast Guard … Read more

Coast Guard in Iloilo & Guimaras DO NOT Enforce Wearing of Life Jackets

Boat capsizes in Iloilo  dead  missing

UPDATED SEPT. 19, 2019


In fairness to the local Coast Guard, I felt the need to update this post. After the loss of 31 lives on capsized pump boats on August 3, 2019, the Coast Guard has been strictly implementing new safety regulations for pump boats.

Furthermore, I commend the Coast Guard and the Maritime Industry Authority, MARINA, for sticking to their guns. Despite heavy opposition by Guimaras resort owners and pump boat operators, the safety regulations put in place by the MARINA are still being enforced.

However, I don’t know how long the regulations will remain. There’s already discussion about somehow modifying the tarpaulins that cover the pump boats. Instead of using common sense and umbrellas, there are people complaining about the tarpaulins being removed. These protesters claim that the sun beats down on them when riding the motorboats.

There is evidence that the tarpaulins were a major factor in the loss of lives on August 3. Many passengers were trapped underwater and underneath the tarps.

Well, there’s a solution to the blazing sun. Use an umbrella. Or, board one of the fast crafts that have covered passenger areas. Frankly, the mandate by the MARINA to modernize ALL wooden-hulled pump boats in the Philippines is being resisted. It seems that there is a concerted effort by some for Guimaras to remain in the Dark Ages and ignore all safety regulations for the sake of the Almighty Peso.

Therefore, things will probably go the way they did after nine people lost their lives in October 2015. That’s when theTawashcapsized on the Iloilo Strait. After two weeks, and complaints from Guimaras lawyers who had rumpled suits from wearing life jackets, the life jacket regulation was completely ignored. I hope I’m wrong.

What follows is my original post from October 2015.

The Coast Guard in Iloilo & Guimaras DOES NOT enforce the wearing of life jackets.

It is required by MARINA (Maritime Industry Authority)’s Memorandum Circular No. 08 Series of 2008 which states that “ALL passengers shall be required to wear life jackets from the time of departure and during the entire voyage…”

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Guimaras’ Massive Travel & Tourism Problems

cabaling beach guimaras

First of all, if you’re planning to visit any of the sandy white beaches in Guimaras, don’t. “Guimaras’ Massive Travel & Tourism Problems,” today’s post, explains why. The Unvarnished Truth Because I’ve lived in Guimaras, an island province in Western Visayas, for the better part of ten years, I have a firsthand view of what’s … Read more

Passenger Delays Persist on Guimaras-Iloilo Route

All banca boat operations plying the Iloilo-Guimaras route were suspended after 31 passengers lost their lives on Saturday, August 3, 2019. Consequently, daily travelers that traverse the Iloilo Strait waited in line for up to 10 hours to board fast crafts and ROROs. On August 13, the suspension was repealed to help ease commuter wait … Read more

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