The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG-6) has warned of franchise suspension or revocation if pumpboat operators fail to comply with several conditions set by the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA).

“We will recommend the suspension or revocation of their franchises if they violate the conditions,” said Commodore Allan Victor Dela Vega of the PCG-6.

MARINA lifted on Aug. 13 the suspension it imposed on pumpboat operations following the Aug. 3 Iloilo Strait tragedy that killed 31 passengers.

Pumpboats were again allowed to ferry passengers from Iloilo to Guimaras and vice versa, subject to the following conditions:

*Passengers shall wear life vests at all times throughout the voyage.

*Boats shall carry passengers only up to 75% of their authorized capacity.

*Boats shall operate during fair weather only.

*Boat shall have equipment for distress signals.

*Tarpaulins shall be rolled up or removed.

*Operations will be from sunrise to sunset (6 a.m. to 6 p.m.) only.

“It is important that you are wearing your life jackets because you don’t know when it (accident) comes. If you are holding lang your life jacket baka hindi mo na masuot,” said Dela Vega.

According to the PCG official, passengers have the option to bring their own lifejackets if they find the ones being provided by the pumpboats “dirty.”

Meanwhile, Dela Vega explained why tarpaulins/canvass are required to be rolled-up or removed.

“Initial observations doon sa investigation, malaking contributory factor (in the incident) yung design ng trapal or canvass ng mga bangka natin, it catches the air,” he said.

De Dela Vega urged passgers to write their real names and other information in the motorboats’ manifestos.

He said passengers with more than 20 kilos of baggage won’t be allowed to take pumpboats.

“Doon natin sila papasakayin sa RORO or fast crafts.”

RORO and fast carat vessels will continue to serve the Iloilo-Guimaras-Iloilo route despite the resumption of pumpboat trips.

An inter-agency investigation into the sea mishap is ongoing, led by the Department of Transportation (DOTr), with Marina and the PCG.IMT