Monday, October 12, 2009

Boatmen help by selling their boats cheap

Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 00:14:00 10/12/2009

Filed Under: Ondoy, Flood, Disasters (general)

PAGSANJAN, Laguna, Philippines—Some boatmen here have sacrificed their source of income to help the residents affected by the flood in Laguna.

Robert Amonela, board member of the United Boatmen Association of Pagsanjan, said many of their members opted to sell their boats at much lower price.

Pagsanjan is popular for its falls.

Each boat ride to shoot the rapids costs P1,000, which goes to the municipal government. A boatman would get only P300.

“Some of us are now idle since there are no tourists coming here [in Pagsanjan]. That is the same reason some were pushed to sell their boats,” Amonela said.

“This is actually our form of help to Laguna residents whose homes are flooded up to now,” he said.

Amonela said the boats were sold at an average of P5,000, which is far beyond the ideal price. He said second hand boats cost P8,000 to P12,000, and brand new ones normally cost P25,000.

He said Pagsanjan boatmen were not making money out of the floods in Laguna. “Boats were sold to individuals who wanted to make a business out of them.”

Boats were sent to nearby flooded towns such as Siniloan, Paete, Sta. Cruz, and Victoria.

Boat rides among flooded towns in Laguna range from P20 to P40.

Karen Lapitan, Inquirer Southern Luzon

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