UPDATED SEPT. 19, 2019
COAST GUARD IN ILOILO AND GUIMARAS NOW ENFORCES THE WEARING OF LIFE JACKETS
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.