At least four more shipping firms were tapped to serve the route between Iloilo and Guimaras, in the wake of a maritime tragedy that claimed nearly 30 lives last Aug. 3.
The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) said this is pending the investigation on the capsizing of three motorbancas at the route.
MARINA ordered Montenegro Shipping Lines Inc. and Tri-Star Megalink Corporation to deploy one Roll-on Roll-off vessel each; and Ocean Fast Ferries Inc. and 2GO Group Inc. to deploy one fast craft each.
Earlier, MARINA ordered FF Cruz Shipping Corp. to increase its trips from one to two round trips per hour in the route by deploying two RoRo vessels.
Last Aug. 5, MARINA suspended operations of all passenger motorbancas operating the Iloilo–Guimaras route, while it conducts a thorough safety standards assessment and evaluation.
The temporary suspension will remain until such time the MARINA has ensured that all safety concerns of motorbancas are properly addressed.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Coast Guard shall enforce the advisory on the temporary suspension, until further notice.
The MARINA remind anew operators to ensure maritime safety at all times by observing the latest weather forecast, conducting proper risk assessment, and applying control measures, as needed.