It is unimaginable for Bacolod City to not exert effort in provided decent public transportation at the old Banago Port, which was once the focal point of sea travel in both the city and Negros Occidental until Sammy Palanca advanced the city by creating the reclamation area. During those days, Banago Port, despite its narrow situation, was booming. Security guards posted at the hub were arrogant and boastful as they believed there would be no end to their good life at the port.
In recent times, the Fastcat roro, a modern catamaran-type vessel, has brought the port back to life. However, the worst part is, upon arrival, travelers end up riding junk tricycles and dilapidated jeepneys to enter the city. A foreigner based in Aklan said, “What a shame.”
In a column penned last year on the same subject, with regard to the limited modes of transportation offered, a tourist was quoted as calling it “a stupid mentality.”
A travel agency worker recently admitted, “We are ashamed of the scenario in Banago, where we have visitors coming from the other island.”
The Bacolod City government should also take an active role with regard to Banago Port as it is an entry point for tourists. In the same vein, Philippine Port Authority (PPA) must boost this part of the Western Visayas and allow for the entry of taxis; although, as the previous piece noted, “According to the PPA, efforts are not made in encouraging taxi service as there is an existing jeepney and tricycle group operating in the area.”
Think of Bacolod City and Negros Occidental and their respective reputations, not the local transportation associations. The public is waiting for someone to actively promote tourism in the province and city.
To tourism officials in Bacolod City and Negros Occidental: You need to act now before the area loses face in the tourism sector.
This column greets Tintin Manzinares, Butch Gerasmo of the Bacolod City Tourism Office, Bacolod City Councilor Em Ang, Negros Occidental Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson, Raymund Javellana, Jo Yoshida, Elsie Gonzaga, JB Ongsingco, Atty. John Orola, Jr., Danny Dangcalan, Land Transportation Office-Region VI Director Roland Ramos, Harold Geronimo, Tata Lacson, Mark Jimenez, Boyet Ortaliz, Thea Divinagracia, and Jennylind Cordero./WDJ