ILOILO CITY – The provincial government is eyeing to declare August as maritime safety awareness month in the province.
“This is to give us a constant reminder on the value and importance of maritime security in order to safeguard the lives of our sea-travelling public,” said Guimaras Rep. Ma. Lucille Nava.
This was after survivors and local officials marked the first commemoration of the August 3, 2019 sea tragedy that killed 31 people when three passenger boats capsized in the waters separating Guimaras from Iloilo City.
It was the August 11, 2006 incident that put Guimaras in the national map as the area where the worst oil spill disaster in the country occurred. A significant portion of the 2.1 million liters of bunker fuel an oil tanker was carrying spilled into the waters off Nueva Valencia town after it sunk due to stormy weather.
Nava’s proposal drew favorable response from Vice Governor John Edward Gando, presiding officer of the Guimaras Provincial Board.
“We find it necessary and imperative that a legislation be passed by the 9th Sangguniang Panlalawigan to put to the forth the safety of sea travels by declaring the month of August as a safety at sea consciousness month where trainings, assessment and forum on the local level and on the subject matter shall be in-place,” Gando assured.
Meanwhile, Governor Samuel Gumarin said the provincial government must institute reforms to curb maritime disasters.