Boat operators await LGUs’ decision to resume trips

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WHEN TO SAIL. Passengers lineup at the Iloilo Fastcraft and Ro-Ro Terminal before the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic. Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) in Region 6 (Western Visayas) regional director Jose Venancio Vero said that they await the decision of the local government units to resume boat trips. (PNA file photo)

ILOILO CITY – The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) in Region 6 (Western Visayas) has said boat operators servicing the Iloilo-Bacolod route are waiting for the decision of the local government units to resume their trips.

MARINA-6 regional director Jose Venancio Vero, in an interview Saturday, said the supposed resumption of operations on June 1 is still uncertain.

This as the local government of Bacolod City has qualms to accept passengers from this city and to allow free movement of people.

Bacolod City will only accept Locally Stranded Individuals (LSI) or returning overseas Filipino workers (OFW) provided that they have completed the requirements set by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID),

The three passenger and tourist operators that operate in Iloilo and Bacolod are Weesam Express Fast Craft, SuperCat Fast Ferry Corporation, and Ocean Fast Ferries, Inc.

“If they will resume trips, carry passengers, and they will not be accepted (in Bacolod City port), it will become a problem,” he said.

“In two days, we will see further developments,” he added.

To date, he said the MARINA 6 has not received guidelines on setting the fare rate.

Vero said they earlier issued an advisory for the sea trip operators to set up for the “new normal”.

He said the operators had started installing safe physical distancing markers and disinfection areas.

Once the operations will resume, sea trip operators will only be allowed to carry 50 percent of its capacity.

The three sea trip operators have rationalized their schedules to make safe physical distancing possible at the terminals, he said. (PNA)

Photo Credit: Philippine News Agency

The Philippine News Agency is a web-based newswire service of the Philippine government under the supervision of the News and Information Bureau (NIB) of the Presidential Communications Office (PCO).

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