Status Quo for the wooden-hulled private boats of Puerto Galera
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Puerto Galera relies on both the commercial and private wooden-hulled ferries for the sea transportation of local residents and tourists.
Last July 2018, MARINA implemented the phase-out of wooden-hulled commercial vessels as prescribed by Memorandum Circular 2016-02 with the subject as follows "REVISED RULES ON THE PHASE-OUT OF WOODEN-HULLED SHIPS CARRYING PASSENGERS IN DOMESTIC SHIPPING", the effect of which almost crippled the tourist industry of Puerto Galera.
Fortunately, the same MC exempts the private boats with the following provision: "Wooden-hulled ships employed solely and exclusively, whether in daytime or nighttime navigation, in DOT-identified tourist destinations for the purpose of direct transfer to and from a resort/hotel, engaging in scuba diving, dolphin, whale and whale shark watching, island hopping, sports fishing and other similar tourist and/or sports and recreational activities, and other similar/analogous cases as may be determined by the Administration".
We, Filipino and Foreign Residents, Business Owners, Investors, Visitors of Puerto Galera, are united in our petition to keep the STATUS QUO regarding the operation and continued service of the wooden-hulled private boats sailing on the Batangas – Puerto Galera route.
We firmly believe that the private boats provide a service that cannot be equaled by existing commercial liners as they cater to a unique market which greatly values travel time and convenience.
We firmly believe that the cessation of the service of the private boats will cause a significant decline in tourist arrivals especially in Sabang and its vicinity which are not easily accessible by land transportation from/to both Muelle Pier and Balatero Pier.
We firmly believe that for the past 20 years, the operators of the private boats had proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that they provide safe, reliable and professional service to all their passengers.
With this, we have caused our signature to be affixed hereto as proof of our solid support and unyielding petition to keep the STATUS QUO for the operation and continued service of the wooden-hulled private boats sailing on the Batangas – Puerto Galera route.
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