Bacolod, Iloilo fastcrafts hike fare rate by P30

ALL shipping lines at the Bacolod Real Estate Development Corp. (Bredco) port in Bacolod City have increased their fare rates by P30.

Starting Tuesday, January 23, passengers of fastcraft vessels plying the Bacolod-Iloilo route and vice versa were already paying fare of P250 to P350, depending on class or type of accommodation.

The figure is inclusive of other charges like toll and terminal fees.

Previously, the fare rates for fastcrafts only ranged from P220 to P320.

Frank Carbon, operator of Weesam Express, Tuesday said the P30 fare increase is also being imposed by other sea vessels, including roll-on, roll-off (RoRo) boats.

Carbon said the increase is mainly attributed to the increase in excise tax on fuel products plus the upward movement in prices in the world market.

“Based on our monitoring, the cost of fuel in the world market might reach up to 70 dollars per barrel which will surely affect our operations,” he said. “Almost 40 to 45 percent of our operating cost is fuel.”

Aside from Weesam Express, the two other fastcraft operators are SuperCat of 2Go Travel and Ocean Jet Ferries Inc.

Each of these can cater to up to 1,000 passengers per day.

Carbon said there is no need for vessel operators to seek approval from any government agency to implement a fare increase as sea vessels are deregulated. They just need to file a notification, he added.

“In our notification, we cited market forces as the reason to increase fare,” Carbon said, adding that people are already aware of the substantial increase in the prices of fuel thus, “we have not received any negative feedback so far.”

The riding public had already anticipated the adjustment through various information dissemination efforts, including media interviews, conducted before, he added.

Carbon reiterated that fare increase would allow them to maintain their vessels to ensure safety side.

He added that discounts for senior citizens and students remain, and convenience of all passengers will also be ensured.

For buses, Vallacar Transit Inc., operator of Ceres Liner, started implementing a fare increase of up to P3 last week, citing the huge increase in the prices of petroleum products.

The bus firm increased its rates from P1 to P3 depending on the route or the distance within Negros Occidental.

The company said prices of fuel, especially gasoline, have been increasing successively, affecting their operations.

Vallacar Transit said the adjustment does not go beyond the fare matrix prescribed by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board since 2008.
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