5%-10% increase but only few ask
by Jhunnex Napallacan
With sea travel expected to surge during the Holy Week as passengers return to their hometowns or go on vacation, a handful of shipping companies will be raising their fares.
However, only 10 percent of Central Visayas-based shipping companies are seeking a 5 percent to 10 percent increase to cope with higher fuel and operational expenses.
The majority did not ask for a rate increase because of stiff competition among shipping lines, according to Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA 7) legal officer Jose Cabatingan.
The companies filed their fare application between January and the first week of April, citing the series of fuel price hikes, the high cost of insurance premiums, spare parts and other operational costs as common reasons.
Ship firms are only required to publish their new rates in newspapers with regionwide circulation and can implement the increase after 14 days, said Cabatingan.
At least one company asked to reduce its fare.
Gothong Southern Shipping Lines lowered its fare from P890 to P880 for the Cebu-Cagayan de Oro City route. An official source in the company said the fare cut was a strategic move to meet competition and be at par with Trans-Asia
Shipping’s fare, which is also P880.
Cabatingan said most ship companies didn’t bother to raise their fares for fear of losing out to rivals.
Most noticeable is the 10 shipping companies operating for Cebu-Tubigon, Bohol route, which did not ask for increase.
“That’s because of stiff competition among the vessels of this route. Competition really helps our passengers,” Cabatingan said.
Ship companies seeking a 5 percent to 10 percent fare increase
Supercat Fast Ferry Corp. and Cokaliong Shipping Lines Inc. for the Cebu-Tagbilaran, Bohol routes;
Supercat Fast Ferry Corp. for the Cebu-Ormoc City route;
Cuadro Alas Navigation Lines Inc. and George and Peter Lines Inc. for the Southern Cebu-Negros Oriental route;
Ocean Fast Ferries Corp. Inc. for the Cebu-Camotes route;
Cokaliong Shipping Lines and Lapu-Lapu Shipping Lines Corp. for the Cebu-Leyte route;
Gabisan Shipping Lines and Roble Shipping Lines for the Cebu-Hilongos, Leyte route;
Medallon Transport and Southern Pacific Transport Corp. for the Cebu-Bato, Leyte route;
Cokaliong Shipping Lines for the Cebu-Palompon route;
Asian Marine Transport Corp. and Island Shipping Corp. for the Hagnaya-Sta. Fe route;
Cokaliong Shipping Lines for the Cebu-Calbayog route;
Medallon Transport for the Bato, Leyte-Ubay, Bohol route; and
Asian Marine Transport Corp. for the Bogo, Cebu-Palompon route.
Source: Marina 7 legal officer
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