TACLOBAN CITY- Village officials where a ship was washed inland during the onslaught of supertyphoon Yolanda had requested assistance before the office of the regional office of the Marina(Maritime Industry Authority) to make the vessel as a tourist attraction. The vessel, M/V Jocelyn, was among the 10 vessels that were washed inland in the villages in Tacloban, particularly in Anibong District due to the storm surges generated by Yolanda.
But instead of asking for the removal of the ship from their village, officials of Barangay 68 want it to be converted as a tourist attraction and gain income in the process.
After it was washed inland, the vessel had become a sort of attraction in the area with passersby and even some members of various humanitarian groups taking pictures with the vessel as the background.
Engineer Rodulfo Paner, head of the vessel registration of MARINA-8, said that their office is amendable in helping the village officials in any way they can. He, however, said that it would take a tedious process considering that the vessel was already sold by its owner. But Paner said that in his talks with the owner of the vessel, the owner appeared to be upbeat with the idea saying he might just buy back the vessel. During his visit in Tacloban, Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. has also registered his opposition of making the vessel as a tourism attraction. Also, some environmentalists have registered their opposition of converting the vessel into a tourism attraction considering that it poses hazard in the long run. In related development, villagers at the nearby Barangay 70 also sought assistance with the Marina seeking compensation from the owners of the vessels washed inland in their village.
The villagers claimed that the vessels slammed and destroyed their houses. The vessels that are still in the village were M/V David, M/V Roseman, M/V Lancer and M/V Hilongos. (LIZBETH ANN A. ABELLA)