MARINA Bohol sets aside tough
boat registration requirements
TAGBILARAN CITY, October 7 (PIA)—The Marine Industry Authority (MARINA) of the Philippines in Region 7 has announced it would condone some of its stringent requirements in motorized boat registration, if only to get through cracking the illegal motorized banca operations here.
AT the recent Kapihan sa PIA, MARINA Bohol chief Norma Enriquez said if only to cater to the need to get the tourism industry going especially in Bohol’s thriving island hopping and dolphin and whale watching tours, they are temporarily setting aside tough to comply requirements to register.
It may be recalled that after an accident involving a diver getting run-over by a speed boat in an illegal operations has forced a crackdown in Panglao and other illegal motorbanca operations elsewhere in Bohol.
About 14 bancas apprehended for ileegal operations are now currently impounded at the Philippine Coast Guard holding area at the K of C Drive.
Banca operators have earlier said the tough to comply requirements for boat registration are discouraging.
By law, MARINA wants boats operating to be built by their accredited and certified boat-builders, following an earlier MARINA policy.
This is to assure that before a Certificate Of Conveyance (COC) is issued, the boat was built through the stringent measures MARINA demands from builders for sea safety and maneuverability according to set standards.
Moreover, prior to the granting of a COC for motorized bancas used as public conveyance, MARINA would be seeking a National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) Clearance for boat operators.
By law, the NTC demands that boats operating on a for hire basis carry with them a specific radio communications equipment while plying Philippine waters.
This too would mean the operator buying a short wave radio unit and base set, as well as get an allocated band so they could be monitored and could be located by other sea faring vessels in the vicinity, should the boat figure in a mishap.
The requirement facilitates rescue, as well as assures that the boats know their locations in reference to international and national shipping lanes, MARINA Enriquez said.
This also happens to be one of the toughest MARINA registration requirements, boat owners assayed.
For MARINA, they would be temporarily setting aside boat-builders certification and radio requirements if only to register Panglao boats.
Enriquez however stressed that the need for life safety at sea requirement would be strictly implemented.
She said boat inspections include the checking of life rafts or life rings, life jackets and fire axe, certification that the boat skipper obtains the minimum qualifications for operating the vessel, and the physical inspection of sea worthiness would be their basis for the registration.
MARINA 7 opens up a mobile registration for Bohol boats October 12-14 in Panglao, Bohol.
At the special registration, MARINA said boat owners must bring the bancas for physical inspection at the venue.
Motorized banca registration would also assure the riding public that they earn an insurance coverage when using the services of the vessel, Enriquez said. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)