The Antique provincial government will soon release financial assistance to boatmen plying Mararison Island to Lipata Port in Culasi, the province's premier tourist destination.
The sea voyage and tour to Mararison Island was stopped since December 2019 after boat operators failed to renew their boat registrations.
Social Worker Jason Alagos of the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) Antique, said in an interview Thursday they already interviewed 35 boat captains and boatmen so they could be given financial assistance.
We initially interviewed 35 boat captains and boatmen to know their situations and needs, he said. An additional 70 boatmen and their boat captains will be assessed next week.
He said the interview or case management is a requirement for the Mararison boat crews to be given PHP5,000 each as financial assistance under the Aids to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS).
Antique Provincial Board Member Victor Condez sponsored a resolution last January 16 requesting the provision of financial assistance to the boatmen and captains after they stopped operations since December last year.
As chairman of the committee on transportation and communication, he said the tourism industry and livelihood of the people in Mararison suffered after their sea vessels were no longer allowed to operate.
The tourism industry and the livelihood of the people in the island of Mararison in Culasi, Antique suffered a major setback as a result of the refusal of the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) to renew the registration of motorboats plying Culasi to Mararison and vice versa, he said.
The Philippine Coast Guard Antique Station prevented them from plying their routes for failure to register with the MARINA.
He said the recipients can use the assistance for their daily expenses and other household needs.
Source: Philippines News Agency