FastCat signs P1.726-billion loan with Landbank for 5 new vessels
Additional routes and partnerships enhance sea travel for passengers
As part of its goal to provide safe, fast, and convenient sea transport in the country, Archipelago Philippine Ferries Corporation (APFC), the shipping company that operates FastCat, inks a P1.726 loan with Landbank for the construction of five new FastCat ferries.
Identified as Numbers 18, 19, 20, 21 and 22, the vessels are set to be improved iterations of APFC’s existing fleet of 10 FastCat ferries, which were secured during a re-fleeting program in 2010. The shipping company aims to bridge the Philippines’ 7,000-plus islands through reliable vessels designed to withstand the country’s extreme weather conditions, and to offer a faster, more convenient transport of goods and passengers.
With the construction of three vessels already underway, and funds secured for the construction of five more catamarans, FastCat moves closer to its goal of having 20 modernized ferries operational by 2019. By then the company would have opened additional routes, too, including Bulalacao (Mindoro) to Coron and Puerto Princesa (Palawan), Lucena to Marinduque and other parts of the Visayas and Mindanao regions.
“We are fortunate that Landbank is aligned with our vision to modernize the shipping industry, to connect the Philippines through ‘moving bridges,’ and to ensure safer, more comfortable, and reliable means of sea transport,” said Christopher Pastrana, chief executive officer of FastCat, during the ceremonial signing for the five vessels with key Landbank executives at Diamond Hotel Philippines.
As the company with the country’s first and only catamaran Roll-on/Roll-off (Ro-Ro) ferries, FastCat is keen on achieving its ultimate mission of “30 FastCats by 2020.” For his part, Pastrana has continuously pushed for the modernization of the domestic shipping industry and raised the bar of maritime safety in the Philippines.
Recently, FastCat has also offered new travel routes, including Jagna (Bohol) – Balbagon (Camiguin) – Opol (Cagayan de Oro) and Bulalacao (Mindoro) -Coron (Palawan) and El Nido (Palawan).
Preparations are being made as well for a Buliluyan (Palawan) – Kudat (Malaysia) route, signaling the start of the company’s long-term plan to extend its services from domestic to regional destinations.
Besides offering passengers numerous routes on world-class ferries that adhere to strict international safety standards, FastCat has forged partnerships with bus companies Jam Liner and Philtranco to add to the seamless travel experience that the company aims to give passengers.
In time, FastCat will enhance that travel experience even more when its land transportation partners field additional buses and jeeps to accommodate passengers. And opening a chain of budget hotels called By The Sea (BTS) in key destinations along its routes will make FastCat a true comprehensive travel solutions provider.
Learn more about FastCat by logging on to www.fastcat.com.ph.