MANILA—The Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) has started its investigation in the capsizing of 3 boats in the Iloilo-Guimaras Strait that left at least 31 people dead.
The agency has also suspended the operations of all passenger motorbancas operating the Iloilo-Guimaras route, pending review and assessment of the vessels' safety conditions.
"Marina continues to remind operators to ensure maritime safety at all times by observing the latest weather forecast, conducting proper risk assessment, and applying control measures, as needed," it said in a statement.
Marina has directed 2 roll-on/roll-off (Roro) vessels in the area to increase the frequency of their trips to cater to the transportation needs of the passengers.
Marina's regional office in Iloilo City has created a help desk to coordinate with the local government, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), and Philippine Ports Authority (PPA).
A PCG official said squall or sudden violent winds could be blamed for the multiple boat accidents.