Four units of modern buses will start serving the four island towns in Camotes on April 20 as part of “experimental routes,” a move that is expected to boost tourism and economic activity in the island group of Cebu province’s eastern seaboard, an official said on Thursday.
Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB)-Central Visayas regional director Eduardo Montealto Jr., said the route is still “under study” while the local government units of Poro, Tudela, San Francisco, and Pilar are yet to submit their Local Public Transport Route Plan (LPTRP).
“These four units of buses to be deployed by the Vallacar Transit Inc. will be covered with a special permit because there is no LPTRP in Camotes. The permit is renewable every month,” Montealto told the Philippine News Agency in an interview.
He said the agency started a study for the land routes on Camotes Island group in 2019 but was eventually stalled due to the coronavirus disease pandemic.
Governor Gwendolyn Garcia said Wednesday that deploying buses in Camotes will coincide with the start of the operation of a sea route from Cebu’s mainland through a port in the northern municipality of Liloan to the island town of Poro, the island group’s economic center.
The provincial government endorsed the application for the franchise of Vallacar’s Ceres Bus Liners for Camotes land routes to the LTFRB.
The governor said she had convinced Vallacar to take the Camotes routes which rely heavily on motorcycles and tricycles, citing the travel market potential in the four towns as beach resorts in the area are expected to draw an influx of travelers in the coming months.
“There will be a lot of people who will either go to San Francisco or go to Tudela, then some will cross to Pilar. The market potential is huge,” Garcia said.
Located in Cebu’s east across Danao City, Camotes Group of Islands has 236 square kilometer land area and is composed of four towns, namely: Poro (17 barangays), San Francisco (15 barangays), Tudela (8 barangays), and Pilar (5 barangays). (PNA)