Photo courtesy of Team Immortals/CAAP AREA IV Puerto Princesa International Airport

The Sangguniang Panlungsod has granted the request of a transport group and the management of SM Puerto Princesa mall for an experiment that will give arriving, as well as departing passengers of airline companies, free transport services from the airport to the mall and vice versa.

Councilor Nesario G. Awat said the move is in response to a letter from SM Puerto Princesa mall manager Maidja A. Saliente and Cleofelia B. Maglaya, Chairman of Centro Transit Corporation requested the city government through the City Tourism Office, the City Tourism Council and tourist transport groups in coordination with CAAP for the dry run of a tourist transport hub at SM.

The resolution allowing the dry run of transport shuttle vans to provide free rides from the airport to designated drop off points and to SM City Puerto Princesa and vice versa was approved after Awat rendered his report on its second reading.

Awat who chairs the Sangguniang Panlungsod Committee on Transportation said that after two meetings the transport group and the management of Puerto Princesa Land Transport Terminal were able to come up with an immediate solution and action on the request.

“Upon the request of Mr. [Joseph] Carpio, we allowed them to talk and discuss this among themselves so that they can come up with agreeable terms. During our second meeting last week, finally, they agreed on the terms and conditions pertaining to this request,” Awat said.

“They wanted that we have to do it permanently but the committee believes that we have to do a dry run first and if there is a need, then we will come up with amendments on the existing ordinance on the matter,” he added, further explaining that should the experiment is suitable, they might consider making it permanent.

Awat also said that after the subject matter was initially discussed, owners and operators of shuttle vans were invited but only two acceded to this request to address the problems of our passenger going to and from the airport, without naming the other transport operator.

“Considering that this is a matter that will benefit our constituents particularly our tourists, the request is considered by the committee to be necessary and the recommendation is to pass a resolution allowing the dry run for the shuttle ferry from airport to SM and vice versa starting on September 19,” he said.

He also said that while shuttle van operators who will have the privilege of conducting the experiment, they will still have to pay corresponding fees.

“Yung transport operators ay mayroon silang pribilehiyo na makapag-avail ng terminal dyan sa SM wherein pwedeng sumakay yung mga ba-byahe papunta sa Brooke’s Point, Roxas, and other points of destination sa mainland Palawan na may byahe sa yung dalawang transport operators. Yung pagkakaroon nila ng terminal sa SM ay part yun ng deal dahil magbibigay sila ng freeride sa mga bababang pasahero mula sa eroplano, at mabigyan naman sila ng pagkakataon na magkaroon ng terminal sa SM pero magbabayad din naman sila ng kung ano yung dapat bayaran sa terminal management,” he said.

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