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Lapu seeks deployment of commercial vessels to serve Olango Island residents

By: Futch Anthony Inso August 10,2019 - 02:51 PM

A woman, who is sick with cancer, was airlifted from Olango Island to mainland Lapu-Lapu City by personnel of the Philippine Air Force on Friday. /Photo from the Facebook page of Nagiel Bañacia

LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu – City officials saw the need to already deploy commercial vessels weighing more than 250 gross tons that are capable of transporting Olango Island residents to and from mainland Lapu-Lapu City even when the seas are rough.

Nagiel Bañacia, head of the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, said motor bancas that now serve island residents and visiting tourists are unable to withstand rough seas.

Read More: Rough Seas: 4 from Olango Island transported to mainland Lapu for medical treatment

Hundreds were left stranded after the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) issued a gale warning on Sunday, August 4, to prohibit vessels weighing less than 250 gross tons form sailing.

“The suggestion of (the Philippine) Coast Guard is for us to make a formal request to MARINA or the Maritime Industry Authority (for the deployment of commercial trips to and from Olango Island),” Bañacia said.

Read More: Gale Warning Still Up In Cebu: Lapu sends food packs to Olango Island families

Bañacia said the city government will soon be sending a formal request for the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) to authorize a shipping company to deploy some of their commercial vessels to serve routes from mainland Lapu-Lapu City to and from Olango Island.

He said that vessels leaving the Sta. Rosa port in Olango Island can dock at the Hilton wharf in Barangay Punta Engaño in the mainland.

Meanwhile, the Lapu-Lapu City government sought the help of the Philippine Coast Guard in transporting food packs and some 50 stranded passengers home to Olango Island on Friday.

They also airlifted to mainland Lapu-Lapu City a woman who is sick with cancer.  The patient was admitted with the Olango Community Hospital and was recommended for transfer to another hospital in the mainland. /dcb

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TAGS: gale warning, Lapu-Lapu City, Olango Island, Pagasa, Philippine Air Force, rough seas

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