More than a week following the deadly tragedy in the Iloilo Strait, where 31 people were killed after three motorbanca vessels capsized, Guimaras Governor Samuel T. Gumarin called on President Rodrigo Duterte to resume motorbanca operations after they were earlier suspended by the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) in order to conduct an investigation.
He said the crackdown has affected the local economy and claimed continued operations would offer an “immediate resolution.”
The governor said the situation has isolated the island province and affected more than just the transport sector, pointing out, changes in the supply of goods and the corresponding fluctuations in prices.
According to an earlier report released by the Joint Iloilo City-Guimaras Incident Command Post, of the 31 confirmed fatalities, 10 were from Guimaras, the most of any area.
While those originating from Guimaras comprised nearly two-thirds of the total individuals, the report also found, of the total 10 passengers from Cebu, eight were counted among the fatalities.
In addition, the report noted the MV Jenny Vince, which carried seven fewer passengers than the MV Chi-Chi, saw nearly twice as many casualties, 20 to 11. The former was also reportedly carrying seven passengers not listed on the vessel’s manifest./WDJ