THE Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) 7 yesterday said that 17 shipowners, including banca operators, in Cebu have filed their notices to lower passenger and cargo fare.
Marina 7 Director Nanette Villamor Dinopol said the notices were already forwarded to Administrator Maximo Mejia Jr., who issued Advisory 2014-30 last Dec. 29, enjoining them to cut down fares since fuel prices have steadily dropped since last June.
The shipowners are George and Peter Lines, Lapulapu Shipping Lines, Roble Shipping Lines, Lite Shipping Lines, Danilo Lines Inc., Trans Asia Shipping Lines, Cokaliong Shipping Lines, Gabisan Shipping Lines and Medallion Transport; while the motorized bancas owners are Sea Highway Carrier, Dragon Star Highway, Siti Inter-Island Cargo and Services, Manuel H. Sarraga, Gliser Omolon, Gregoria E. Pogoy, Eduardo D. Quijano and Ernest Sonobos.
Cut down rates
The fare cuts, which were effective starting last Feb. 1, ranged from 1.17 percent to 14.28 percent, depending on the operational cost of the shipping company.
George and Peter cut down fares by 1.63 percent; Lapulapu shipping, 4.55 percent; Roble Shipping, three percent; Lite Shipping, 3.5 percent; Danilo Shipping, 2.7 percent; Trans Asia, 14.28 percent; Cokaliong Shipping, 1.09 percent; Gabisan Shipping, 3.22 percent; and Medallion Shipping, two percent.
The Marina 7 did not give comparative vessel passenger and cargo rates before and after the reduction.
Fair price advocate Vicente Gambito said previous fares were based on diesel costing P56 per liter.
Gambito said 40 percent of the operation cost of shipping companies is for fuel, so it was only proper for shipowners and operators to reduce their fares by 20 percent.
Last December, diesel price was down at P25 per liter, prompting Mejia to order shipowners and operators to reduce their fares.
A shipowner, who asked not to be named, said the continuous drop in fuel prices is a windfall, enough to cover their losses during bad weather like typhoons.