DOTr calls on Ro-Ro operators to serve missionary routes
CEBU, Philippines — The Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) announced that there are 19 newly opened Roll-on/Roll-off (RoRo) missionary routes to upgrade the domestic shipping industry in support of the nautical highway development.
In a press statement released by the Department of Transportation (DOTr), wherein MARINA is one of their attached agencies, said of the 19, three of these routes includes Cebu namely Oslob, Cebu – Dumaguete, Negros Oriental; Punta Engano, Mactan Island, Cebu – Jetafe, Bohol; and Poro, Camotes, Cebu – Isabel, Leyte.
DOTr said that the Nautical Highway Development is one of the eight priority programs of the 10-year maritime industry development plan (MIDP).
The MARINA encourages shipping companies to operate in any of the newly-opened RoRo missionary routes in support of the enhancement of the country’s Road RoRo Terminal System (RRTS), a seamless stretch of roads and ports to improve inter-island transportation, enhance tourism, and expand regional markets, among others.
A RoRo missionary route involves one or more direct links covering two RoRo-capable ports that have no existing shipping service due to geographic limitation and/or absence of market viability.
DOTr added that the shipping company that will serve a missionary route may enjoy protection of investment for five years and 50% discount on the regular fees of all applications and renewal of ship documents, licenses, certificates, and permits.
DOTr added that aside from serving new RoRo missionary routes, shipping companies are also encouraged to propose new links with RoRo-capable ports for further development of the Philippine domestic shipping industry.
House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is proud of the success of the domestic shipping industry over the years since she started the ro-ro program although she saw some glitches since it was implemented during her presidency.
Arroyo was in Cebu for the house oversight hearing on transportation yesterday.
Arroyo said that in a separate hearing, she will call on the truckers association in connection with the high cost of ro-ro charges as well as the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) on the “weighing scale” issue as its cost is reportedly added on the cost of the ro-ro charges.
Arroyo said that the main purpose of the Roro Transport System is to make the transport of food from Mindanao to Luzon and Visayas cheaper and efficient.
Arroyo had earlier pushed for the expansion and modernization of the ro-ro transport system which was launched during her administration as President in 2003.
Based on the status of ro-ro projects in the Central Nautical Highway, data shows that these were already served like the Cawayan, Masbate-Daanbantayan; Cawayan, Masbate-Bogo, Cebu; Cawayan-Hagnaya; Cataingan-Bogo; Cebu City-Tubigon, Bohol and Cebu-Tagbilaran. (FREEMAN)