The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) is exempting motorized bancas temporarily docked at the Port of Calbayog in Samar from payment of port charges.
This is in response to a letter sent to the agency by Samar 1st District Rep. Edgar Mary S. Sarmiento on behalf of the affected owners of the bancas from the island municipalities of Sto. Niño, Almagro, Tagapul-an, Pagsanghan and Tarangnan in Samar.
The exemption is in line with Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade’s directive of helping Filipino transport stakeholders amid the pandemic.
The PPA also recognized the social and economic impact the motorized bancas have on the island municipalities that they help link with Calbayog City.
Sarmiento said the motorized bancas used to dock on the side of the seawall near the port free of charge. However, they were displaced by the ongoing construction of a viaduct adjacent to the Port of Calbayog.
Sarmiento, in his letter, also stressed the important role the motorized bancas play in the economy of the city, serving as the lifelines of its island municipalities.