1,000 stranded in Mindoro
CALAPAN City, Philippines—More than 1,000 passengers and 35 vehicles have been stranded inside the Danggay port in Roxas town, Oriental Mindoro province, amid a rush of commuters from Luzon heading home to Panay Island via the Caticlan port in Aklan province.
Apart from those inside the port, a number of travelers and vehicles lined up at the “marshalling area” just outside the pier area as of 10 a.m. Saturday, said Melody Garra, assistant supervisor of the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) in Roxas.
Garra said many of these vehicles and passengers have been stranded at Danggay port for three to four days. They expected this situation to continue until Dec. 31.
Garra said the number of ferries traveling between Roxas and Caticlan could not cope with the sheer volume of people and vehicles commuting between the two ports.
“There is an average of 4,000 travelers every 24 hours from Manila to Iloilo via Caticlan since Dec. 21 or 22. Compared with last year, there are more travelers now, maybe because of the long holiday,” she said.
These passengers from Manila are ferried by the buses in two boat trips from Batangas to the Danggay port, a 2- to 3-hour travel time. From Danggay, the same buses board other roll-on-roll-off boats for the 4-hour trip to Caticlan.
But because of the long queue of vehicles, some of the buses opted to return to their point of origin in Cubao in Quezon City, instead of going all the way to Caticlan. Their passengers commuted to Caticlan with the first vessel that departs, she said.
Garra said bus companies usually have contracts with the shipping lines that bring them to Caticlan and they have to wait for these vessels to arrive, not necessarily with the first ship to depart from Danggay.
She said they expect more passengers on Jan. 3 when vacationers return to Manila.
She said commuters who wish to know the condition at Danggay port could call the PPA’s hotline number, (043) 2892813.
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