At least 44 boat operators have secured permits from the business bureau and the city tourism operations office which are required by the city government of Davao.
Business Bureau Officer in Charge Marissa Torentera told the recent I-Speak media forum that the office has given boat operators until today (April 17) to secure the necessary permits as Davao City is implementing a “no permit , no sailing” policy.
The LGU had noticed that many chartered boats and other vessels plying the Davao City – Island Garden City of Samal route lacked the Davao City mayor’s permit to operate business.
These boats have permits from the Maritime Industy Authority and Island Garden City of Samal but none from the city government of Davao.
Torentera said the order for compliance was timely with the approaching Holy Week, a peak season for boat operators.
“ Last year pa namo sila gina-ingnan na magparegister kay tindagsa baya ang mga bakasyonista,” (As early as last year, we told them to register as vacationers will be rushing in) Torentera said.
She said that the permits were for regulation as they were conducting business in the city and the local government was also providing services to them like security, cleanup and the upkeep of the pier.
Without a bridge connecting Davao City and the Island Garden City of Samal, tourists are dependent on motorboats as their means of getting to Samal.
With its white sand beaches and pristine coral reefs, the Island Garden City of Samal has become a major tourism destination in the region. In 2017 about 1.3 million tourists visited the island. (PIA-11)