By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The resumption of sea travel for Bacolod and Iloilo passengers is still uncertain, even though fast craft operators have already been cleared by the city governments of Bacolod and Iloilo to resume operations.
Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) 6 director Jose Venancio Vero said shipping lines are not keen to operate for fear of incurring losses due to limited passengers despite the relaxed community quarantine status of both cities of Bacolod and Iloilo.
Vero also pointed out the health protocols remain an issue for the shipping operators.
For the time being, Vero said passengers can take FastCat as it is the only fast craft operator that resumed trips because of its category as cargo and passenger vessel.
Vero met with the representatives of Bacolod City and Iloilo City with the Philippine Ports Authority, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the shipping lines last week.
PCG-Negros Occidental chief, Lt. Commander Jansen Benjamin, meanwhile said that they will only implement orders from MARINA related to the resumption of fast craft operations.
He said shipping lines also have issues that needed to be resolved./DGB, WDJ