The highly anticipated launching of the Liloan-Poro, Camotes sea route, initially slated on April 20, has been put on hold and moved to another date.
Erik Lim of Topline, operator of Pier 88 in Liloan, told Gov. Gwen Garcia that the setback is due to the still shallow condition of the port’s berthing space, making it hard to accommodate the big roro vessels of Super Shuttle Ferry which would transport passengers and cargos, including trucks and buses, to and from Camotes via Poro town.
Lim initially asked the governor for an extension of four weeks since they would have to do dredging works on three berthing spaces for the roro vessels.
The governor, however, said that opening this route towards the end of May or early June would be too late to catch the summer season when locals and tourists would be flocking to Camotes Islands for fiestas and vacation breaks.
The governor lamented the situation since interest in Camotes has been at an all-time high especially after the highly successful Camotes leg of the Suroy-Suroy Sugbo package which was graced by Sen. Robin Padilla, DOT Sec. Christina Garcia-Frasco, and almost 400 Suroy-Suroy guests from all over the country.
“Make use of the momentum. Timing is everything in life,” the governor told Lim, adding that they should expedite their dredging so that the sea route could be opened at an earlier date in May.
“Mag-apologize ko sa tanan,” Lim told Sugbo News. “We just make sure lang sad ang safety which is our main priority sa tanan,” he added.
Atty. Moises Flores, branch manager of Vallacar Transit, Inc. Cebu North, told the governor that their Ceres buses have already secured the necessary permits from the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board to ply the Cebu-Camotes route aboard the roro vessels traversing the Liloan-Poro route.
The Capitol had earlier requested LTFRB 7 director Eduardo Montealto Jr. to prioritize the granting of a bus franchise for the Cebu–Camotes route since this would greatly help the mobility of locals and tourists in the island which still lacks a comprehensive transportation service.
“Very good ang Camotes, very appealing to us,” Flores told the governor.
Also present during the meeting was Paul Rodriguez, CEO of Super Shuttle Ferry. | Ioannes P. Arong