Lawmaker urges mandatory life vest policy for motor bancas
Lawmaker urges mandatory life vest policy for motor bancas
Lawmaker urges mandatory life vest policy for motor bancas
by Mhillen Nicole Borja31 July 2023
A man stands on the capsized passenger boat in Binangonan, Rizal province, Philippines, July 27, 2023 in this screen grab taken from a video by Philippine Coast Guard/Handout via REUTERS

A lawmaker has called for a mandatory requirement for all passengers boarding motorized bancas to wear life vests or life jackets.

Quezon City Rep. Marvin Rillo's appeal comes after the tragic sinking of MB Aya Express in Laguna Lake, resulting in the loss of at least 27 lives while en route to Talim Island.

Rillo emphasized the importance of keeping life vests worn throughout the entire voyage as a precautionary measure.

He stressed that such a simple and practical step can significantly enhance safety on sea journeys and across lakes and rivers.


“Every traveler on a motorized boat should be wearing a life jacket at all times throughout the voyage as a precaution. This is a simple and practical measure that can help safeguard lives at sea, or in lakes and rivers,” Rillo pointed out.

The Quezon City Congressman also underscored the need for consistency in safety regulations, pointing out that motor bancas conducting island-hopping tours should make it obligatory for their passengers to wear life jackets.

Similarly, smaller or light watercraft carrying paying passengers should adhere to the same safety standards.

“If you visit beach resorts nowadays, and you hire a motorized boat for an island-hoping tour, they will require everybody onboard to put on a life jacket for protection. The same rule should be applied to all light watercraft carrying paying passengers,” Rillo added.


The solon said he firmly believes that consistent wearing of life vests is the simplest and most practical way to safeguard the lives of passengers on small watercraft.

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) reported that the MBCA Princess Aya capsized around 1 PM, on July 27, due to passengers panicking and shifting to the port side of the vessel in response to strong winds.

As of Friday, July 28, the PCG confirmed that at least 26 passengers lost their lives, while 40 others were rescued from the incident.

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