"New craft" prompts free Tubigon-Cebu passage
by Rey Anthony Chiu
Tagbilaran City (6 February) -- SINCE last week, boat passengers taking Cebu-Tubigon route had the surprise of their lives when they got free rides in three Tubigon-Cebu regular trips.
This after cut-throat competition showed its form and old shipping industry players started asserting their weight in an attempt to sidle out a "the new player" who wants to anchor on the business they have so far wielded power.
The free trips however are only for passengers taking the Tubigon Cebu 7:00 AM, 12:30 PM and 2:50 PM.
Free passages are for passengers who choose the standard two-hour slow boat trips to Cebu over a sleeker and faster 45-minute new player StarCraft, one that can finish the trip in 45 minutes.
Long time industry players Jadestar Shipping Lines and Tubigon Ferry Island Express have shrugged off passage rates, not minding the fuel and operational expenses for now to make sure that Siti-Inter Island Cargo and Services Company Incorporated is gone and out.
Jadestar puts up the 7:00 and 12:30 while Tubigon Ferry Island Express plies the 2:50 slot.
For the faster Starcraft 1, it can however field the same boat for the three trips and vice versa.
The trip back from Cebu to Tubigon however is not affected and is pegged at P180-200 still.
The entry of the new craft came after Tubigon Sangguniang Bayan officially granted the application of SITI Inter-island Cargo and Services Company and hoisted the ropes for the ship owner's bid to get a Certificate of Public Convenience for the route and back.
The SB approval also assents to the new craft's return trips from Cebu to Tubigon at 5:45 AM, 11:45 and 1:45 PM.
Meanwhile, Tubigon information officer Ligaya Castillo in a phone interview said they are glad of the development specifically on the entry of a new craft as it would bolster sea traffic and bring more economic development to the town and Bohol's northern corridors.
"Mayor Luna Piezas is also elated about the coming of the new boat believing that the new service would leave in its wakes countless job opportunities and makes sea trip to Cebu relatively easier," she added. (PIA) [top]