Motorbanca operators comply with order against upper decks
Banca operators have complied with an order to prohibit the use of the second or upper deck for passenger and cargo, the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) said yesterday.
Marina regional information officer Jose Cabatingan said operators of passenger motor bancas based in Pasil, Cebu City and Cordova town complied with their memorandum issued last July 6.
Cabatingan said the motorboat operators asked for re-inspection and Marina-7 immediately issued a new passenger ship safety certificate to those motorboats indicating the new passenger capacity of their motorboats.
Cabatingan said Marina-7 inspectors are also conducting ongoing inspections in other areas of Central Visayas to ensure that all motorboats will comply with the memorandum.
The memorandum was issued by Marina to ensure passenger safety in the wake of the July 2 accident involving the Pilar-bound MB Kim Nirvana-B.
MB Kim Nirvana-B was a double-decker wooden-hulled motorboat that capsized shortly after it left Ormoc port last July 2.
At least 62 persons, mostly residents of Pilar in Camotes Islands, were killed.
In Pilar, motorboat Junmar 2 also complied with the memorandum.
Pilar Mayor Jesus Fernandez Jr. confirmed yesterday that the owner of Junmar 2 voluntarily removed the upper deck of the boat after the accident.
Fernandez said Junmar 2 started its operation to Ormoc City last Sunday.
Before the July 2 accident, there were three motorboats plying the Pilar-Ormoc route including the Kim Nirvana B.
Junmar 2 replaced Junmar 1, which originally plied the Pilar-Ormoc route.
Junmar 1 and the 3rd motorboat are undergoing maintenance check-up.
Mayor Fernandez said the upper decks of these boats will also be removed.
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