MARINA grants request for Iloilo-Bacolod sea travel halt 

NEGROS OCCIDENTAL, May 16 (PIA6) – The Maritime Industry Authority granted the request of the provincial government here to suspend the resumption of domestic sea travels, particularly the Bacolod-Iloilo trips, starting May 18.

Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson on May 14 wrote the Department of Transportation (DoTr), the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) requesting to postpone the implementation of the resumption of operations of passenger vessels.

In his letter to Secretary Arthur Tugade of DoTr, PCG Commandant Admiral Joel Sarsiban Garcia, and MARINA Administrator  Vice Admiral Robert Empredad, AFP (Ret), Lacson cited Section 3.3.1 of the Executive Order 20-23 series of 2020 issued by the Province of Negros Occidental that mandates all borders, airports and seaports in the province to remain closed and in full effect until May 31, 2020.

“In the same way that passenger airlines moved the resumption of all domestic flights to June 1, 2020, I believe that it is but wise and prudent that all domestic sea travels should resume on the same date,” Lacson noted in his letter to said agencies with the hope that these will respect the right and authority of the Local Government Unit to enact measures to protect the health and welfare of its constituents.

The Provincial Government Executive Order 20-24 series of 2020 Section 2.3.1. signed on May 15 highlighted, among others, the closure of borders, ports and airports of Negros Occidental.

Meanwhile, the Bacolod City government also made the same appeal for the postponement of sea travel to and from the city.

Earlier, Negros Occidental Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Chief Lieutenant Commander Jansen Benjamin announced, in a virtual press conference, that sea travel between Bacolod City and Iloilo City and vice versa will resume Monday, May 18.

He said trips between the two cities will be allowed subject to health restrictions to avoid the spread of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), citing the DOTr and MARINA advisory guideline 2020-29.*(JBG/EAD-PIA6 Negros Occidental)


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