Ordinance vs overloading of pump boats urged
ALEGRIA Mayor Verna Magallon wants an ordinance that would strictly implement the carrying capacity of motorized bangkas and has asked the town council to craft an ordinance to this effect during their session next week.
“Next week inig session sa council maghimo og ordinance in relation sa carrying capacity sa mga pumpboat,” Magallon said in a phone interview.
(During the council session next week, they will create an ordinance in relation to the carrying capacity of pump boats).
The mayor likewise plans to meet pump boat owners to discuss the recent drowning of three persons who were on board a pump boat which capsized and sank off the waters of Alegria last Wednesday.
Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO) Chief Baltazar Tribunalo Jr. said the boat, measuring about 16 to 18 feet with a carrying capacity of 10 persons, was overloaded with 15 passengers on that day.
A family was celebrating the birthday of one of its members and went island hopping when strong waves capsized the pump boat they were riding.
Meanwhile, the pump boat operator was released from jail after the father of the victims came to the Cebu Provincial Police Office to inform the authorities that they had no intention of filing a case against Jazreel Bendulo.
CPPO Director, Senior Supt. Manuel Abrugena said they will respect the decision of the family.
Alegria Police Chief, Senior Insp. Efren Diaz Jr., confirmed the release of Bendulo. He said the relatives of the victims admitted to having asked Bendulo to operate the pump boat and take them home.
The owner of the pump boat is the father of one of the victims. The survivors are now safe.
Mayor Magallon admitted that they had no control over those who do unplanned island hopping.
“Dili makontrol sa municipality ang ilang instant nga plano. Unlike sa ubang places nga naay identified nga island hopping,” she said.
(The municipality cannot control their immediate plans. Unlike in other places where there are identified island hopping areas which can be regulated.)
Magallon said they will provide burial assistance to the families of Rosalyn Peligro, 31, Albert Lopez, 24 and Ruby Peligro, 27, who perished in the accident, as they did not know how to swim.
Meanwhile, Rhafael Luche, chief of the Emergency Response of the PDRRMO said swimming should be part of the curriculum of the Department of Education (DepEd).
“Since we are an archipelagic country, if I have to ask, we should include swimming lessons as part of our curriculum sa PE (Physical Education) classes,” he said.
While, boat operators are reminded to check their boat maintenance and observe safety measures, such as the availability of life vests. /WithCorrespondent Benjie B. Talisic)
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