A neophyte Provincial Board (PB) member raised concern over the “inconvenient” ticket issuance process at the Tagbilaran City Tourist Port, the province’s main gateway for sea-traveling passengers, amid mounting complaints from the public.
First District PB Member Lucille Lagunay, in a privilege speech delivered during the regular session last week, described the port’s four-step ticket issuance process as “cumbersome,” saying that it has caused inconvenience to the riding public including tourists.
“This concern has been raised before in various public fora and, most likely, in the appropriate council tasked to oversee situation like this. However, it is sad that the business enterprises and government agency concerned has not yet addressed the issue,” said Lagunay.
She asked the PB’s committees on tourism and public utilities, chaired by Board Member Jade Bautista and Board Member Romulo Cepedoza, respectively, to look into the issue.
“Considering that tourism is now our main economic driver, all the more that it is urgent and necessary that we should improve this segment of the tourism industry,” Lagunay said.
In her speech, Lagunay enumerated four steps in the issuance of tickets and passes at the port.
1. Purchase ticket at a booth
2. Pay for terminal fee at another booth
3. Get seat assignment at a separate booth
4. Check in baggage and pay fees at another counter
According to Lagunay, the process can be cut down to just two steps, which have been practiced at airports.
Passengers can purchase their tickets with terminal fees and proceed to the check-in counter for seat assignment and turnover of luggage or cargo, Lagunay said.
“This has been done in the airline industry. Surely, this can also be done by our shipping companies and PPA [Philippine Ports Authority],” she added.
The PB member also called for shipping companies to offer online bookings which has been done by the Lite Shipping Corporation. (R. Tutas)