MARINA enforces ban on wooden-hulled ships; passengers crowd terminals

Published January 5, 2021, 2:52 PM

by Betheena Unite

Wooden-hulled ships that were prevented to travel due to expired certificates of public convenience (CPC) was the reason behind the “temporary influx” of passengers transiting the Guimaras-Iloilo route early this year, the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) said Tuesday.


The agency reiterated that all wooden-hulled ships covered under MARINA Circular No. 2016-02 or the “Revised rules on the phase out of wooden hulled ships carrying passengers in domestic shipping” are no longer allowed to operate.

“Following the expiration of their CPCs, wooden hulled ships are no longer allowed to operate or transport passengers and cargoes,” MARINA said, adding that “this has resulted in the temporary influx of passengers particularly those travelling the Guimaras – Iloilo Route at the start of this year.” 

According to MARINA, since the issuance of the policy in 2016, wooden hulled ship operators have been given ample time to modernize their ships to plastic reinforced or fiber reinforced plastic (FRP) boats.

“At the policy level, the transitory period for the grant of CPC to wooden-hulled boats has been extended several times already, and this practice should be put an end,” it stressed.

 A CPC for wooden-hulled ships is valid for five years, without extension.

The agency furthered that it is closely monitoring the situation in Guimaras and has relaxed the schedule of trips of boats operating in Buenavista, Guimaras to Iloilo route and vice versa during peak hours from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., respectively,

“MARINA assures the public that it has taken necessary steps to ensure that passengers travelling this route have reached their port of destination through the provision of available plastic reinforced or fiber reinforced plastic (FRP) boats and RoRo ships,” MARINA said.

It also added that, in collaboration with industry stakeholders, MARINA will pursue incentive schemes for domestic shipowners so that they would be able to acquire modern ships to replace wooden-hulled boats.