Ocean Jet, the leading fastcraft in Bohol, is prepared to add more trips should the number of passengers start to increase after the provincial government eased entry protocols in the province, a move seen to resuscitate the slumping sea travel industry in the region.
Ocean Jet, which is operated by Ocean Fast Ferries, Inc., has several vessels on standby which are ready to be dispatched for service from a dry dock in Cebu City, said the shipping firm’s operations manager Gene Lastimado.
“Depende sa influx sa passengers. Kung necessary, magdungag g’yud mi,” said Lastimado.
On Thursday, Governor Art Yap issued Executive Order No. 17 which only requires an arriving individual to present a negative result of an RT-PCR test taken 72 hours prior to arrival in Bohol.
The measure waived the previous need for additional testing for those staying in the province for more than three days.
It also abolished other requirements such as a travel authority from the Philippine National Police and a medical certificate from a government physician.
Lastimado said the issuance of the EO is a “welcome development” as he noted that the pandemic has forced the shipping company to reduce its daily roundtrips between Cebu City and Tagbilaran City from 17 to just one, which is a “mercy trip.”
Ocean Jet also started to only use a single vessel for its operations in Bohol as it grounded six others at a dry dock.
The shipping company however did not suspend its operations except for when it was ordered by the government to ground its vessels as part of health safety protocol or due to inclement weather.
“Luoy kaayo naay panahon tulo ray pasahero, but despite the fact na ngana usahay napo kabuok wa g’yud namo gi-undang,” said Lastimado. (A. Doydora)