Just a day after Oceanjet began serving sweeper trips on a Bohol-Cebu-Dumaguete-Bohol route, the shipping company’s management announced the suspension of all trips beginning today, October 9, 2020.
Gene Lastimado, manager of Ocean Fast Ferries Corporation, the operator of Oceanjet, admitted in an interview with dyRD Balita that the shipping company failed to secure a renewal of its Permit to Operate (PTO) and the annual passes for its employees which is required by the Philippines Ports Authority (PPA) and the Bohol Inter-Agency Task Force (BIATF).
Lastimado said the resumption of its regular sweeper trips may depend on its compliance with the said requirements.
DyRD Balita reporter Rey Tutas, who was at the Tagbilaran City Port to observe the docking of the first sweeper trip from Cebu City on Thursday noon, noted that Oceanjet is utilizing one fastcraft vessel to sail the sweeper route leaving Cebu City – Pier 1 at 9:20 a.m., and arrives at the Tagbilaran City Port at 11:20 a.m.
However, Tutas observed that while there were only five (5) passengers from Cebu City, composed mainly of LSIs, the vessel was loaded with luggage and cargo that did not belong to any of the passengers. The Coast Guard however did not allow any of the cargoes to be unloaded as Oceanjet did not have any personnel who could carry out the disinfection of said items which were all shipped back to Cebu City.
Apparently, the baggages and cargoes were consigned to the care of the passengers or the boat’s crew by its owners or senders in Cebu.
There were 13 LSIs who boarded the fastcraft which left Tagbilaran City Port at shortly past noon yesterday going to Dumaguete City.
On the return trip, 20 LSIs boarded the same vessel which left Dumaguete City at 2:30 p.m., arriving Tagbilaran City at 4:30 p.m. (KB, RT)