Wooden hull boats will no longer be allowed to commercially transport passengers in July after the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) enforces its directive to only use fiber glass or steel hull boats.
According to Clarin Mayor Allen Ray Piezas, the Marina will be implementing the new measure to boost safety in ferrying passengers between islands in the country.
The Marina has still allowed wooden hull boats to operate for the meantime as shipping firms are given time to comply with the new directive, he said.
Piezas issued his statement after confirming that Cordova Inter-Island Shipping Lines, Inc. will be opening a Cebu City-Clarin route using a fibre-reinforced plastic banca.
The mayor welcomed the shipping firm’s impending entry into the province as the town has long awaited directed trips to Cebu through its seaport.
According to Piezas, only one vessel will initially start to ply the new route but more boats could be added depending on the public’s patronage.
Cordova Inter-island Shipping Lines is expected to start operations in Bohol in May this year using a 130-seater “modern banca” which is still under construction.
According to Horyel Alejandro, administrative director of Evercat Asia Inc. which was tapped to build the vessel, the boat can travel at a maximum speed of 18 knots.
It can traverse the distance between Cebu and Clarin in 70 minutes, he said. (AD)