Fare rate issues facing the Association of Malatapay-Apo Island Pumpboat Operators Inc. may affect the economic activity and tourism in the world famous dive destination Apo Island in Dauin, Negros Oriental.
Antonio Yocor, coastal resource management officer of Zamboanguita town, where Purok Malatapay in Barangay Maluay belongs, said issues over regular and special chartered rates for motor bancas plying the Malatapay-Apo Island route have not been resolved since 2000.
At a meeting of the AMAPOI recently, Yocor said the problem of motorboat operators is charging minimal fare of P300 per person against the higher rates of chartered vessels that is between P2,000 and P4,000.
He said the special meeting was a last resort to find solutions to the problems.
The association had called for a special meeting to iron out concerns over two incidents during which they claimed they lost potential income after Apo Island Liberty Pascobello, an AMAPOI member, “violated” an agreement and allowed walk-in tourists to ride in her boats at a lesser cost.
Pascobello, however, said it was an act of hospitality to tourists who could not afford to charter a special trip.
During the meeting, she suggested that she would instead ferry her clients coming to stay at her resort on Apo Island.
Another option raised, which some motorboat operators do not seem to favor, is to add another scheduled trip in the morning, at the regular rate of P300 per person.
Yocor said that if all parties involved gave a little consideration to the convenience of tourists and not just think of personal interests, then the problem of motorboat fare rates can be finally resolved.*JFP
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