Sun Cruises Inc. (SCI), provider of ferry services to Corregidor Island, on Tuesday announced their closure effective May 16.
On Facebook, SCI posted a statement on the stoppage of their operations servicing Corregidor Island.
"We wish to convey our warmest thanks for all the support and patronage you have shared with us all these years," read a portion of the statement.
Speaking to GMA News Online, Tina S. Cortez, President of Sun Cruises, admitted that the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and the subsequent lockdown were among the reasons for the decision.
"We have been around since 1988. Imagine, more than three decades already, but when we started the year, there was the Taal eruption, which affected tourism," Cortez began in a phone interview.
She added that a guest in March tested positive "and so we were asked to close, and we haven't opened since."
"Considering what's happening, and how fluid and vague everything is, we also really cannot plan. There's no concrete date of reopening. The cost has become too much," she added.
Aside from ferry services, Sun Cruises has also been the official provider for Corregidor Island's tour and hotel services.
In its statement, Sun Cruises advised those who have already paid for unused tickets and whether partially or fully, to call their numbers. They are doing everything they can to process claims of refund, it added.
Despite the unfortunate news, Sun Cruises hopes Filipinos and tourists will continue to "consider Corregidor in your future travel plans and leisure activities."
"Exciting things should be up and coming once the vision for Corregidor as a Tourisim Zone becomes a reality soon," they added.
The sentiment was echoed by Cortez, who shared that "there is a plan for Corregidor to become a major tourism destination, so maybe the closure of Sun Cruises will give way for the plan."
In a Senate hearing in May, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat reported that the year-to-date revenues of the Philippine tourism industry have been halved due to travel restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19. — Jannielyn Ann Bigtas/LA, GMA News