Archipelago Philippine Ferries Corp.’s (APFC) newest vessel, named FastCat M15, will be ready to serve the Mindoro to Coron, Palawan route beginning December to bring in more agriculture products and spur tourism activities in both provinces.
APFC President Christopher Pastrana said the $8.3-million multihulled catamaran is a 50-meter long vessel, with 700 gross tonnage (gt), and close to 755 horsepower engine.
“M15 is the second ship delivered this year. It has a capacity for 7-8 buses, 35 cars and 360 passengers. The engine is much better. It used solar and wind. Starting December, it will start serving the Mindoro to Coron, Palawan route, with 3-4 times weekly trips. The travel time would take around 5 hours,” he said during the ship’s blessing and launching ceremony in Batangas.
He said the brand new vessel was internationally classed. “Our vessels were classed by ABS, Lloyds Register, Bureau Veritas. Our new ship has 5 watertight compartments and 4 engines,” he said.
APFC is modernizing its fleet, bringing its total roll- on roll –off (RoRo) vessels to 13, to serve passengers and transport goods and cargoes in the country. The $8.3 million ship was funded through a loan from Land Bank.
“We support goods from Mindoro market. We’re just waiting for the approval of the Department of Finance and Bureau of Customs, and later on, we can start servicing the route before the year ends,” he added.
Pastrana said that Mindoro has a lot of agriculture products to offer from rice, vegetable and high value crops. “We help them lower the cost of goods that are being brought from Mindoro to Palawan. Tourism will be strengthened. We also help in tourism, agriculture and employment.”
Next year, APFC expects their fleet to increase to 27 vessels to be able to cross Zamboanga, Basilan and Tawi- tawi and as well as the provinces in the North. They will also
start having a 54- m. catamaran vessel next year.
Source: Manila Times