By Joseph B.A. Marzan
Iloilo City government and Guimaras provincial government officials on Friday raised eyebrows over a new policy announced by Guimaras motor banca operators, banning the loading of bikes onto boats between the two areas starting next week.
Iloilo City Public Safety and Transportation Management Office (PSTMO) chief Jeck Conlu expressed his sadness in a post on his personal Facebook account.
He vowed to communicate with officials over the matter at the soonest possible time.
“I am saddened to learn of the decision of motorbancas not to allow the carrying of bicycles to cross Guimaras from Iloilo City and vice versa. As a biker, myself, I also enjoy going there for leisure bringing with me my own bike,” said Conlu on his Facebook post.
“With this sudden turn of events, I will communicate with those involved and have a sit-in with them for reconsiderations and hopefully we can come up with a mutual agreement that will both benefit the bikers of Iloilo City and Guimaras,” he added.
Guimaras Vice Governor John Edward Gando, referring to Conlu’s post, said that he would bring the matter up with the provincial board this coming Monday.
“We will listen to the explanations and concerns of the knowledgeable authorities and individuals who thought of this idea. Stay tuned,” Gando stated likewise in his own Facebook post.
This stems from the announcement by Jordan Motor Banca Cooperative (JMBC) on Friday that it would no longer allow bicycles of any kind aboard its boats starting on September 22.
JMBC cited an “authority” on its Facebook post, but did not say which government body it referred to.
Daily Guardian has reached out to the Maritime Industry Authority-Region 6 (MARINA-6) which regulates the operations of the motor bancas, but has yet to respond to queries as of this posting.