Scalpers persist at Oro port

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Friday, May 2, 2014

PASSENGERS bound for the island-province of Bohol are complaining of scalpers, people who sell overpriced tickets, in Cagayan de Oro City's port at Barangay Macabalan.

According to Bohol-bound travelers, these scalpers approach and persuade them that tickets are running out, leaving the passengers without choice but buy the overpriced ticket.

Jun is a 40-year-old traveler who wanted to go to Jagna, Bohol with his friends to attend the town fiesta there.


Jun shared his experience from a previous trip where he was offered a high-priced ticket by a man who looked like he was also a fellow traveler.

“He was like going to a trip with his big bags while he tried to sell his ticket to me. I then wondered. Since I was in a rush, I didn’t dare to doubt further. I immediately bought the ticket from him,” he said.

Since that incident, Jun made it a point to buy his ticket from an authorized ticketing office and not to be sweet-talked by strangers who offer to sell overpriced tickets.

‘Not new’

Jonathan Saliring, head of the Terminal Operations Office of the Philippine Port Authority (PPA), said that such cases are nothing new, adding tyhey cannot be completely eradicated.

“Whatever season it is, whether summer or the school days, fixers are just there trying to do business,” he added.

Saliring remembered that last Tuesday, April 29, the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) and the different shipping lines had a meeting to plan out on putting an end to ticket overpricing but no concrete date was yet set.

“We are planning to pursue an ‘ID System’ where the ‘No ID, No Ticket’ applies,” he said.

One company has implemented this, the Lite Ferry, where Jun queued to buy a ticket on Friday.

Shipping lines with Cagayan de Oro-Bohol routes such as TransAsia deny that scalpers or touts are from their company.

“No. They are definitely not one of our employees. They are simply one of the passengers who try to purchase a ticket. They come with bags, just like any typical passenger. We do not really have a hold on this,” a TransAsia employee, who requested that to be named, said.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on May 03, 2014.

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