CAGAYAN MARINA TO CUT TRAVEL TIME OF WOODEN HULLED SHIPS

Manila, June 28, 2003 (MALAYA) The Maritime Industry Authority Cagayan de Oro Regional Office plans to limit the travel time of wooden hulled vessels plying to and from the region to a maximum of four hours.

Marina Cagayan de Oro and Caraga regional director Marianito B. Mendoza said that they are keeping close watch on areas where most wooden hulled vessels ply, particularly the open seas where most accidents occur.

" The smaller the vessels, the shorter the travel time we will allow them," Mendoza saidd.

Mendoza said that while total phase out of wooden hull would be ideal, it is not possible for Visayas and Mindanao serviced by small wooden hulled vessels and motorized bancas.

Mendoza said that the southern region has long been using wooden-hulled vessels and the public will continue patronizing them.

He pointed out that what the government can do at this point is to formulate more policies to raise the safety standards of sea travel in the country.

The Department of Transport and Communication is currently thinking of phasing out wooden-hulled vessels to improve safety in sea travel.

Marina, however admits that due to economic constraints and lack of financing for the modernization of the domestic fleet the phasing out of wooden-hulled vessels will not be easy. Marina said it can only be done in phases and such vessels will be limited to ply short and protected routes as 68 percent of the country's domestic fleet is composed of wooden hull vessels.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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