Bicycles allowed on board Guimaras boats again

By Joseph B.A. Marzan

Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas said in a statement that bicycles are allowed again on motorboats plying routes between the city and Guimaras Island.

Shortly after his meeting with the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA)-6 on Tuesday, Treñas said the agency denied issuing an order prohibiting or imposing a permit requirement on bicycles loaded on boats to the island and back to the city.

The latest MARINA statement runs contrary to that of Philippine Coast Guard-Iloilo Commander Paterno Belarmino to Super Radyo Iloilo, where he cited MARINA-6 Regional Director Jeffrey Bangsa’s orders that fiberglass-hulled boats can only carry four bicycles per trip, while steel-hulled boats can carry eight.

MARINA-6 has yet to issue its own statement on the matter.

Earlier, local officials in Iloilo City and Guimaras riled at the MARINA policy of barring bikes from being transported on board motorboats plying routes between the two areas.

Guimaras Gov. JC Rahman Nava even threatened to ask his wife, lone district Rep. Lucille Nava, to hold deliberations on the budget of MARINA and its parent agency, Department of Transportation, if they do not reconsider the policy.

Biking enthusiasts also vented at MARINA’s policy, calling it a setback to efforts to promote biking as an alternative form of transportation and leisure.