TACLOBAN CITY – The Northern Samar provincial government will look into the delay of ferry trips between Samar Island and Sorsogon province.
John Allen Berbon, Northern Samar provincial information officer, said Monday Governor Edwin Ongchuan shared the concern with the provincial board on Oct. 14, a day after a meeting with members of the House of Representatives in Eastern Visayas, governors, and heads of key regional line agencies.
One of the agenda discussed during the meeting in this city led by Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez were the delays in ferry trips between the port of Matnog in Sorsogon and ports of Allen and San Isidro in Northern Samar.
“The provincial board were united in the move to identify and resolve probable lapses in ferry operations that if left to continue, will adversely impact on the delivery of goods and services not just in Northern Samar but in other parts of Visayas and Mindanao, which need to pass through the route to hasten the movement of agri-industrial inputs, food and non-food products among others,” Berbon said in a statement.
Northern Samar Vice Governor Clarence Dato earlier said the problem of delayed trips may be attributed to overlooked conditions of permits issued to ferry service providers.
“The provincial board then agreed to inquire on the operations of ferry companies in the province, particularly in Allen and San Isidro ports where commercial vessels ferry passengers and cargoes to Matnog, and vice versa,” Berbon added.
There are 15 ferry trips between the two provinces daily crossing the San Bernardino Strait.
The Matnog ferry terminal in Sorsogon is the only exit point from Luzon to Eastern Visayas while Northern Samar has two entry points – the privately-owned ports in Allen town and the government-owned ferry terminal in San Isidro town.
These ports form part of the northeastern seaboard nautical highway that links the country’s three major island groups – Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao.
For decades, roll-on roll-off ferries cross the San Bernardino Strait, carrying passengers and vehicles to and from Northern Samar ports and Matnog port in Sorsogon.
With a distance of 28 kilometers, the average travel time is one hour and 30 minutes. (PNA)