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VS GRAND FERRIES Corporation has formally inaugurated MV SeaCat, the company’s first fast craft that will ply between Calbayog City in Samar province and Cebu.

The 300-seater air-conditioned vessel is powered by twin brand new engines that will reduce travel time from 12 hours to just five hours.

Department of Transportation Assistant Secretary Fernando Juan Perez, Samar Rep. Edgar Mary Sarmiento, Calbayog City Mayor Ronald Aquino, and VS Grand Ferries Corp. owner Arthur Vaughn Zosa led the inauguration recently.

Zosa said choosing Calbayog as their homeport will give the people of Samar the opportunity to get to Cebu fast and safe. It will also give tourists visiting Cebu a more convenient option to visit Samar.

“Instead of going to Tacloban first before heading to Catbalogan or Calbayog in Samar, tourists from Cebu can now directly reach us, stay in our hotels, eat in our restaurants, have their tour and exit the province using our ports. With this, we expect to welcome more tourists,” said Zosa.

Zosa said with the new route, travellers from Samar will enjoy improved accessibility to other parts of the Visayas, considering that there are regular trips from Cebu to Bohol, Iloilo and Bacolod. “My ultimate ambition is for Calbayog to be like Cebu or Bohol. This will result in more development not only in the city of Calbayog, but also in the entire province of Samar,” he said.

The fast craft leaves Calbayog at 8 a.m. for Cebu Port, and leaves at 2 p.m. for the return trip that arrives in Calbayog at 7 p.m. The fare is set at P1,300. Perez lauded the management of SeaCat for investing in the transportation sector by providing easier means of connectivity to other regions.

“The problem of under developed transportation system is a stumbling (block) to growth and economic development,” he said. “This launching of SeaCat is a concrete manifestation of how we should work as a nation, ultimately the involvement of the private sector as well as other stakeholders is much needed in order to lead our country into the next years ahead towards genuine and inclusive development,” he added.

Known as the city of waterfalls, Calbayog is the third largest city in the country in terms of land and water areas. About 40 percent of the city’s land area is plain and hilly, while the remaining are rugged mountain ranges with elevation ranging from 300 to 700 meters above sea level. The city is 172 kilometers north of Tacloban, the regional capital. (Roel Amazona)


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