THE Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade is eyeing the phase-out of wooden-hulled motorboats following the sinking of three motorized bancas in Iloilo-Guimaras Strait that killed at least 31 people.
Tugade said in an interview Wednesday, August 7, that the wooden hull used in motorboats for public transport should be changed to aluminum or fiber glass.
He said Rogen Basco, a survivor whose wife died in the sinking incident, suggested the change in the design and materials used in motorboats to avoid similar incidents in the future.
“Alam mo ba kung ano ang mensahe niya sa akin? Alam mo mensahe niya? Palitan niyo na ho ang bangka namin, ilan pa yung mamatay (Do you know what his message was? Change our motorboats to avert deaths),” Tugade told the media in Guimaras Wednesday, August 7.
Basco appealed to Tugade to change their boats for the safety of the passengers traveling to and from Iloilo and Guimaras.
“Siyempre, pagsakay mo na daan, indi ka na safe. Nalantaw mo na daan nga tabunan kamo (Of course, by time you ride the boat, you feel unsafe already. You start thinking that it will capsize and cover the passengers),” Basco said in an interview with SunStar Philippines.
Basco is the husband of Angelita Basco, 50, who died in the incident.
“So kung magkakaroon ng bagong sakayan e marahil mas maganda yung platapormang i-phase out natin (So if there will be new boats, it would be better if we phase out the wooden-hulled bancas),” Tugade said.
He said though that this will only apply to passenger motorboats, not those used by fishermen.
“Kasi ang nakasakay naman doon yung mangingisda, yung limited crew at yung mga isda (Because those boats only carry the fishermen, their crew and their catch),” Tugade said.
Aside from phasing out the wooden-hulled bancas, Tugade said they will also find a new place for fast-crafts and roll-on/roll-off vessels to provide better transportation for the public. (SunStar Philippines)