At least five people were killed in two separate maritime incidents, authorities said on Sunday. A passenger was killed while another remained missing after a fire engulfed the m/v Mama Mary Chloe, which was carrying 157 passengers, including 15 children, along with eight crew, from Ubay in Bohol to Bato on the nearby island of Leyte.
Rescuers plucked 163 passengers and crew from the waters off the central island of Bohol, the Philippine Coast Guard said, as they searched for one missing passenger.
The body of a passenger has been recovered and a coast guard ship has been deployed to help with the search, authorities added.
“The rescue of the crew and passengers was swift because of the help from motorbancas (boats) sailing in the waters when the incident happened,” the coast guard said.
Almost 100 people were brought to land at a port in Leyte, where emergency personnel checked on the rescued passengers.
In Bataan, four people were killed while one remained missing after their boat capsized on June 23, Police Lt. Mariel Quizon said.
Gemma Dacillo, sister of the missing fisherman, appealed to the public for help to recover his body.
“I am appealing for your help, if at the very least you could see the body of our brother, this will be a big help for us. He was wearing a black long-sleeved shirt and yellow shorts,” Dacillo said.
The Philippines, an archipelago of more than 7,000 islands, is plagued by poor sea transport, with its badly regulated boats prone to overcrowding and accidents.
In May, seven people were killed when a fire ripped through a ferry carrying 134 passengers and crew off the main island of Luzon.