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Chan asks roro operator to send bigger vessels to ferry Olango Island residents

By: Rosalie O. Abatayo August 21,2019 - 06:43 PM

Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard Chan. CDN Digital photo | Rosalie Abatayo

LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu — The Lapu-Lapu City government and a shipping company are now in talks for the possible upgrade of their vessels to ferry passengers from mainland Mactan to Olango Island even when there is a gale warning.

Mayor Junard Chan said this is a means to prevent island residents from being stranded and absent from their works in the mainland.

From August 4 to 9, residents of Olango Island and the neighboring islets of Caohagan, Pangan-an and Caubian were left stranded for six days after the state weather bureau issued a gale warning that prevented motor bancas from sailing their designated routes.

With the issuance of the gale warning, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) only allows vessels weighing above 250 gross tonnage to sail.

Read More: Day 3: 175 Olango-bound passengers remain stranded at Angasil, Hilton Wharfs

“We already talked with the owner of Jomalia Roro. Ang iyang vessel ang capacity is naa ra sa 248 gross tonnage. Kung ang vessel moabot og more than 250 gross tonnage, pwede ka mo-cross to Olango. We talked to the owner to upgrade his vessel para continuous ang trips from mainland to Olango,” Chan said in a press conference on Wednesday, August 21.

(We already spoke to the owner of Jomalia roro. Jomalia’s vessel capacity is only 248 gross tonnage. If the vessel is upgraded to weigh more than 250 gross tons, it can already travel to Olango Island (even when there are rough seas). I already spoke with the management and asked them to work on the upgrade of their vessels for an uninterrupted trip to Olango Island. )

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

Chan said that the owner of the Jomalia Shipping Corp. has agreed to add a bigger vessel that would ferry passengers to and from mainland Mactan and Olango Island, if necessary.

Meanwhile, the city council is scheduled to discuss during their session on Thursday, August 22, a proposal to release the P7 million calamity assistance to the seven barangays in Olango Island and the three island villages of Caohagan, Caubian and Pangan-an that were affected by the gale warning issued earlier this month.

The gale warning prevent island residents to travel and transport supplies from mainland Lapu-Lapu City to their respective barangays.

Read more: Lapu declares state of calamity in Olango Island

The City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC) passed a resolution on Friday, August 9, to recommend that the said villages be placed under a state of calamity to caution the effects of the gale warning especially on their economic activities.

Aside from employees who had to be absent from their respective works in mainland Lapu-Lapu City, small fishermen were also barred from sailing for at least six days.

The P7 million allocation will be used for the purchase of food packs and other relief items for the nearly 6,000 families from the 10 villages.

Despite the economic losses, Chan appealed to island residents to heed the gale warnings issued by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) to avoid the occurrence of sea accidents that may led to loss of lives and properties. | dcb

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TAGS: Ahong Chan, Caohagan, Caubian, gale warning, Jomalia Shipping, rough seas, stranded passengers

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