By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Fast craft operators serving the Bacolod-Iloilo route are worried as they recorded few passengers, which threatens them to temporarily halt operations again.
In an interview over RMN-DYHB Bacolod, Jose Venancio Vero, regional director of the Maritime Industry Authority-Region VI (MARINA-6), said so far only Weesam Express and OceanJet have returned operations.
Vero said there were times that the fast craft operators were only recording 63 passengers a day.
He pointed out they are currently monitoring the situation and if it worsens, they will again call for a meeting in order to discuss as to how they could effectively sustain their operations, without incurring losses.
Operations at the Dumangas Port, meanwhile, remain normal wherein a total of 11 roll-on/roll-off vessels are operating.
Fast craft operations between Bacolod City and Iloilo City resumed last week following months of suspension due to the sudden spike of COVID-19 cases in the region.
There are currently no more travel restrictions between the two cities, except for the health declaration form that needs to be filled up before or after boarding.
Residents of Negros Occidental (non-residents of Bacolod City), meanwhile, are required to undergo swab tests upon arrival in Bacolod City, as part of the provincial government’s protocols./DGB, WDJ