OWNERS of wooden boats used for tourism-related activities can now have a better chance of starting over whenever disasters strike, after the Capitol persuaded insurance firms to cover wooden boats.

Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia announced this development in a meeting attended by tourism stakeholders at the Provincial Capitol on Friday, April 8, 2022, according to Sugbo News.

The official news platform of the Capitol quoted Garcia as saying that in the past, insurance firms insured only the passengers of boats but not the pump boats themselves, which is why she requested the insurance firms to insure the tourist boats as well.

Present at the meeting were representatives of two insurance firms—Visayan Surety and Insurance Corp. and Philippine British Assurance Co. Inc.

Marechel Mercado, president of the Boat Owners of Moalboal Island Hopping Association, welcomed the development, citing the setbacks the industry continues to face after the lashing brought by Typhoon Odette (Rai) last December on the association members’ 140 boats.

At present, only 23 of the boats are operational, she said at the meeting, Sugbo News reported.

During the meeting, Department of Tourism 7 Director Shahlimar Tamano said there were more than 2,500 wooden tourist boats in Central Visayas.

Boats are a staple in Cebu’s popular tourist destinations, many of which are beach related and involve island hopping.

Last December, Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard Chan said many pump boats on Olango Island used to serve tourists had capsized, been washed away, or had otherwise been rendered inoperable by Odette’s lashing.