After a certain shipping company closed its doors several decades ago, Bacolod City’s Banago Port has remained at a standstill as ferry vessels utilize the more convenient Bredco Port. However, a modern roll-on/roll-off (Ro-Ro) vessel company still uses the former as it provides more comfort for those traveling between Bacolod City and Iloilo. What is very sad is that the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) seems to refuse the entry of taxis into the facility. Why can’t taxis park and wait for incoming passengers? Why must passengers make the sacrifice and ride dilapidated tricycles?
This column tackled this very subject two years ago. A column entitled “Banago Port must be utilized for tourism” noted: “Travelers have found the port inconvenient as taxis are not available inside the port. 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. Why offer domestic and international tourists dilapidated jeepneys and tricycles as a means of navigating this very livable city?”
Another column, this one from January 2018, stated, “It is shameful when tourists arrive to see dilapidated and likely-unlicensed tricycles greeting them at the Banago Port.”
This is not to condemn the PPA, it is just something to consider—an act of safety for incoming passengers.
Would it be an issue to allow five waiting taxis at a time?
Government agencies are public servants of the Filipino people—not the rulers. They should always provide an avenue of consideration as it does not hurt their profession in government. It is not enough for the agency to say there is a transport franchise servicing the Banago area since, when Ro-Ros arrive in the evenings, jeepneys can hardly service passengers—it’s a “option” for drivers.
An October 2018 WatchMe column entitled “Taxis and public rides are needed at Banago Port” suggested: 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, PPA must boost this part of the Western Visayas and allow for the entry of taxis.”
I pray PPA officials look at the situation with some heart. Travelers will appreciate PPA presence if the agency has a heart for travelers.
This column greets Paolo Araneta, Art Colmedora, Raymond Dabao, Gerard Tupas, Femmy Lee Magbanua, Chick Garcia, Tata Lacson, Jonathan Lo, Felipe Lacson, Tina Gurrea-Garcia, Jo-ann Yoshida, and Ronnie Gevero/WDJ