A COMPANY operating a fleet of fastcraft to and from Balbagon, Camiguin and Jagna, Bohol has finally started its operations on Wednesday, March 21, in Luyong Bonbon, Opol.
Aptly named FastCat, the company owns a fleet of catamaran-type Roll-on/Roll-off vessel operated by the Archipelago Philippine Ferries Corporation (APFC). Each vessel can accommodate up to 275 passengers and has a capacity of approximately 300 lane meters or hold 34 cars and seven trucks and buses.
According to Christine Guevarra representing the firm’s marketing department, the municipality of Opol was chosen as FastCat's landing port as its a major entry and exit point to connect Cagayan de Oro and Misamis Oriental to Camiguin and other part of Visayas.
"We want to help the local government in terms of trading, in terms of tourism, and yung (the) local business natin. We are basically here to help everyone," Guevarra said.
Opol municipality Mayor Maximo Seno, for his part, expressed his gratitude and was optimistic of the opportunities that will come with the launching of the FastCat.
"This is a start of another milestone for our development. Definitely economic activity will move on then again, another thing is our revenue collections will improve so daghan kaayong mga advantage (there are several advantages)," Seno said, adding that this will also give Opol the opportunity to be known in the entire country with FastCat as their link.
Seno said they are expecting an influx of FastCat passengers going to Camiguin this Holy Week.
At present, there's only a single trip traveling from Opol to Balbagon, Camiguin at 9:30 p.m. to 1:15 a.m.; and from Camiguin to Jagna, Bohol at 3 a.m. to 5:45 a.m.
The Opol mayor has also requested for the vessel to sail in the morning instead of in the evening, saying that it seems to be more convenient for the passengers to travel during the day.
Guevarra, for her part, said that they are still gathering feedbacks from the market to determine what is more convenient.
"Unfortunately, syempre once i-adjust natin yung sa kabila, sa kabila naman gagabihin naman tayo (once we adjust the schedule in the other side, the travel schedule in here will be in the evening), but we're making a balance to please everyone and to make sure everyone is accommodated properly. Rest assured that we are coordinating with the local government para (so that) everybody [is] happy in terms of schedule," Guevarra said.
According its website, FastCat passenger rates from Balbagon, Camiguin to Opol is as follows:
- Business class: P670 (full fare); P536 (students); P479 (senior citizens/PWDs)
- Premium economy: P620 (full fare); P496 (students); P443 (senior citizens/PWDs)
- Economy: P570 (full fare); P456 (students); P407 (senior citizens/PWDs)
Jagna, Bohol to Opol:
- Business class: P730 (full fare); P584 (students); P521 (senior citizens/PWDs)
- Premium economy: P680 (full fare); P544 (students); P486 (senior citizens/PWDs)
- Economy: P630 (full fare); P504 (students); P450 (senior citizens/PWDs)
Gueverra also mentioned promos that the passengers can avail upon purchasing their ticket.
"Right now, actually, I would to inform you that we have a promo. For one week, yung first na (the first five) five passengers sa (of) business class, five na passengers sa (of) economy, at tsaka sa (and in) premium economy, libre tapos yung dalawang vehicles libre rin (is for free, also the two vehicles will be free of charge) for every trip for one week. So that's a good news and at the same time, yung meron tayong (we have a) 50 percent off sa pamasahe (to our fares) until further notice," Guevarra said.
FastCat's sailed off for its maiden voyage in the evening of Wednesday, March 21, after its launching from Opol to Camiguin and Jagna, Bohol.