Six officials of the Philippine Coast Guard and Maritime Industry Authority were relieved from their posts following the recent tragedies at sea in the Iloilo Strait that killed 31 people.
The order was given by Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade during his visit to Guimaras.
“I want them immediately relieved from their posts so we can give way to a more thorough and impartial investigation,” Tugade said.
“If they are found negligent, we will make sure that the necessary criminal charges will be filed against them.”
Meanwhile, President Rodrigo Duterte gave P50,000 in cash assistance to the families of those who died in the capsizing of three motorboats at the Iloilo Strait.
President Duterte distributed the money during his visit to the fatalities at the Gegato-Abecia Funeral Homes and Crematory in Iloilo City.
The President was also scheduled to meet the families of the nine fatalities in Guimaras.
Covered by Tugade’s order were four PCG officials, including the station commanders in Iloilo and Guimaras, as well as Marina’s regional director in Western Visayas.
Tugade issued the order to PCG Commandant Admiral Elson Hermogino and MARINA OIC Administrator Narciso Vingson Jr., who were both with him in Guimaras to inspect various port facilities and to personally extend their sympathies to the families of the victims.
Tugade pledged to help provide the qualified family members of victims with employment in the Marina, PCG and the Philippine Ports Authority.
He ordered Marina to expedite the release of permits to the Ro-Ro (roll-on, roll-off) fast craft vessels that will be used to augment the number of ships plying the Guimaras-Iloilo route, while the suspension on wooden hull boats are in place.