FastCat sales down 90%

Published April 12, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Emmie V. Abadilla

Sales and operations of the Domestic Ferry Company Archipelago Philippine Ferries Corporation (APFC), or Fastcat, plummeted 90 percent starting middle of last month after the government imposed a lockdown, the company reported.

However, FastCat said it has not stopped servicing rolling cargoes and continues to pay the salaries of its over 800 employees.

Although main office personnel are working from home, Fastcat vessels are operating in the different islands, subject to the restrictions set by various Local Government units.

FastCat vessels and crew continue to be stationed at all ports, and operations are maintained, following the policy of the Maritime Industry Authority and Department of Transportation in ensuring safety of all personnel and passengers.

FastCat tries to keep afloat by securing the needs of employees, paying its suppliers and hoping that banks and government regulators may waive charges and grant tax relief or fixed port fees.

While FastCat vessels are Roll-on, Roll-Off (RORO) ships that cannot be used as Hospital Ships like other domestic ferries, they continue to serve by transporting essential goods across the archipelago.

In the absence of aviation, the only means to transport essential goods, such as food products, and medicines, are by sea via the domestic ferry industry.