AMID the influx of beachgoers going to the Island Garden City of Samal, the Davao del Norte Provincial Tourism Office asked tourists to be extra patient in waiting for their turn to board ferry boats.
Provincial Tourism Officer of Davao del Norte Noel Daquioag during the Kapehan sa Dabaw at SM City Davao on Monday, May 21, acknowledged the woes of the tourists where they have to queue for 3 to 6 hours especially on weekends to experience the island’s beautiful beaches.
“That is part of the adventure, you have to wait in order (to cross to Samal) because napapawi naman ang pagod sa kapipila pag dumating sa isla. You’ll see the sand and beaches,” he said.
He said that there have been moves from the local government to address these complaints. There are plans for the construction of Davao-Samal bridge which is now under study and President Rodrigo Duterte has been keen to realize the plan before he steps down from his post.
With this, he said that development in Samal will become faster. And they are pinning their hopes that the Davao-Samal bridge will push through to give way for more opportunities and for convenience.
Aside from that, another plan is to increase the number of ferry boats that would transport passengers from Davao City to Samal Island and vice versa. He is not just certain on how many ferry boats that will be added and when will they start to operate. But what he is assured of is that there were dialogues already with the same investors and the LGU of Samal to make this happen.
“The local government is pushing for more ferry boats so that it will ease the problem, pero siyempre hindi naman ganon kamura ang isang ferry boat, million-million kaya ito. So the local government is also talking to private partners to come up with a good ferry system at this point,” he said.
At present, there are at least six ferry boats that are operating, four for the Mae Wess Company Incorporated and two for Davao-Samal (DavSam).
Based on their record in 2017, for Davao del Norte, they received a total of 2,062,875 tourists and 65 percent of this number or about 800,000 went to Samal Island.
“We only receive 5 percent foreign nationals, 95 percent are domestic tourist that is why in this Kadagayaan Festival, we’d like to level up,” he said.