By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Bacolod City Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran said sea travel between the cities of Iloilo and Bacolod will be unrestricted starting October 31.
In a radio interview with RMN-DYHB Bacolod, Familiaran said travelers from Iloilo are no longer required to secure a travel authority or travel pass.
However, fast craft passengers will be required to sign a health declaration form at the port.
Aside from the health declaration form, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in Negros Occidental has stated earlier that passengers may also be required to register with Bacolod City’s BacTrac system.
Leisure travel has also been allowed to resume in the city for Panay travelers, and Familiaran hopes that the lifting of the travel restriction will help kick start the business establishments in the city.
However, for travelers bound for destinations outside of Bacolod City, the provincial government of Negros Occidental has retained the present health protocol requiring non-Bacolod City residents to undergo swabbing upon arrival in the city and the results will be released within three days.
The provincial government’s health protocols cover for both seaports in the province, including Bacolod City, and the Bacolod-Silay Airport.
As of yesterday, only OceanJet Fast Ferry Corporation has announced its schedule of twice daily services – Bacolod-Iloilo leaving at 8:50 a.m. and Iloilo-Bacolod at 2:30 p.m.
SuperCat and Weesam Express, meanwhile, have also announced its resumption of trips with Weesam resuming on Oct. 31, followed by SuperCat on November 1. However, both have yet to announce their respective trip schedules./DGB, WDJ