Passenger traffic at ports in Bohol has been increasing since the provincial government eased its entry protocols starting in March, said a Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) official on Thursday.
According to PPA Bohol management office chief James Gantalao, both arrival and departure of passengers in all ports of the province increased by about “50 percent” starting in April.
“Nisaka siya sa point na kung niadtong Marso dinhi sa Tagbilaran naay 100, karon naa nay 150 or 175. Kana pud sa Tubigon nisaka pud, tanang pantalan nisaka ang umabotay, nisaka pud ang pabalik,” Gantalao said.
Gantalao attributed the rising passenger traffic to the provincial government’s decision to waive the previously mandatory 14-day quarantine for arriving individuals.
Starting March, persons entering Bohol were no longer mandated to undergo quarantine but instead required submit a negative result of an RT-PCR test conducted within 72 hours prior to arrival.
The port official also did not dismiss the possibility that the number of arrivals increase due to Bohol’s so-called “fiesta month” in May, which normally drew homecoming Bohol residents from all over the world prior to the pandemic.
“Misaka pud siguro tungod sa fiesta kay ato man jud ning naandan sa Bohol na manguli inig ka Mayo,” he said.
For the departures, Gantalao believes that many Boholanos have started to travel again to Cebu for business transactions considering that the neighboring province has also eased entry protocols.
Bohol residents working in Cebu have also started to travel between both islands, Gantalao added.
“Mostly Cebu g’yud ang daghan, pero kining pa Mindanao sa Jagna, hing saka pud siya,” he said. (R. Tutas)