Guimaras mulls declaring August as maritime safety awareness month

Officials of Guimaras province proposed declaring the month of August as Maritime Safety Awareness Month.

Guimaras Lone District Rep Ma. Lucille L. Nava pushed a legislation that will serve as reminder on the significance of maritime security as the island province commemorated the Aug 3, 2019 sea tragedy that claimed 31 lives.

On Aug 11, 2006 when the island province was hit by a catastrophic oil spill when oil tanker MT Solar 1 sank off the coastline of Guimaras. The incident is considered as the worst oil spill in the nation’s history.

Nava said that due to these tragedies, safeguarding the lives of sea travellers is a priority.

“Since the month of August reminds us of these two heartbreaking tragedies as well as the outburst presently of this pandemic, may I then proposed that you’ll consider a legislation declaring this month as Maritime Safety Awareness Month to give us a constant reminder on the value and importance of maritime security in order to safeguard the lives of our sea-travelling public,” Nava said.

Vice Governor Atty. John Edward Gando answered the call with an assurance to push for the passage of a legislation declaring the month of August as a Maritime Safety Awareness Month.

Atty. Gando said that trainings, assessment and forum on maritime safety shall be institutionalized.

“After a year since the tragedy happen, we find it necessary and imperative that a legislation be passed by the 9th Sangguniang Panlalawigan to put to the forth the safety of sea travels by declaring the month of August as a safety at sea consciousness month where trainings, assessment and forum on the local level and on the subject matter shall be in placed,” Gando said.

Governor Samuel T. Gumarin said that while Guimarasnons are resilient, these kind of maritime disasters shall not happen again.

“Sa pagbangon sang Guimaras sa sini nga mga trahedya, I want the resiliency component to be present. Pero kuntani wala na sang may matabo nga amo ni nga mga catastrophe sa probinsiya sang Guimaras,” Gumarin said.