Passengers decry delays in Cebu port

By: Michelle Joy L. Padayhag October 29,2014 - 01:34 AM
The passenger Terminal 1 at Pier 1 is crowded with passengers after some passengers for Manila waited for the arrival of vessels that were delayed. Some passengers were thankful that airconditioning units is fully fanctional but some are discomfort of their long wait.(CDN PHOTO/JUNJIE MENDOZA)

The passenger Terminal 1 at Pier (CDN PHOTO/JUNJIE MENDOZA)

Sixty-year old Filadelfa Abainza is exhausted after an eight-hour delay in her trip to Manila.

She and her nephew left Dalaguete town in southern Cebu early yesterday to catch the 12 noon voyage of MV St. Paul John II of 2Go Travel.

They arrived at 10 a.m at the passenger terminal of Pier 1 hoping to be on time for the trip to Manila in time for the All Saints’ and All Souls’ Days.

Another passenger, overseas Filipino worker Roger Paquera, was also Manila-bound for his trip to Saudi Arabia.

He was also disappointment because his ticket indicated 12 p.m. as the time of departure.
No official explanation on the delay was given to the passengers.

“Okay ra man bisag daghang tawo. Natural kay ting-uli gud, ang ako lang kanang delayed trip,” (The passenger congestion is understandable since most people are going home. But the delay is unbearable),” he said.

Domino effect

Lito Salvio, vice president of 2Go Shipping said the estimated time of the vessel’s arrival in Cebu was 4:30 p.m yesterday.

Its estimated time of departure for Manila was 8 p.m last night, an eight hour delay of its scheduled time of departure.

Salvio explained that “it was an accumulated delay. A domino effect due to port congestion in Manila. The effect is not only here in Cebu but also in Cagayan De Oro.”

MV St. John Paul II, which was enroute to Cagayan de Oro via Cebu last Monday, was delayed by six and a half hours.

It was supposed to leave for Cagayan de Oro at 11:30 a.m. but left at 6 p.m.

Last Monday, a balikbayan from the US, who requested anonymity, shared his frustration on the backward transportation system in the country.

He and his son were traveling to Cagayan de Oro and had to endure more than six hours of delay.

“It’s more on operations — the loading and unloading of the cargo which resulted in port time extension.

The heavy container trucks traffic in Manila is also another reason,” he told CDN.

Shape up

Lawyer Yusop Uckung, deputy manager of the Cebu Ports Authority (CPA) said delayed trips can cause congestion of the passenger terminal in pier 1 because the passenger terminal in Pier 3, which used to service 2Go passengers is now undergoing repair.

“I hope the vessels should be on time. If 2Go finds Manila congestion as the reason behind the delays then they should adjust their schedules,” Uckung said.

Aside from the repairs of the passenger terminal in Pier 3, the passenger congestion in Pier 1’s terminal is caused by the stream of passengers for the coming All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.

Uckung said they have turned on their air-conditioning units in full blast to ensure the comfort of passengers.

“Once the Pier 3 terminal renovation is done in December, the passengers transfered from 2GO terminal to Pier 1 may already be accommodated in Pier 3,” Uckung said.

“May gani kay naay aircon. Hayahay ra sad sa pamati. Makapalit ra sad ug pagkaon dayon daghang baligya diri sa sulod” (It’s better because the air-conditioning system has made us comfortable. We can also buy food inside the terminal),” Abainza said.

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