Gov't restored more shipping routes between Manila and 3 provinces

By Genalyn Kabiling

The government has restored more shipping routes between Manila and three provinces to provide an alternative form of transportation of people and goods.

Malacañang Palace. (Photo by Richard V. Viñas) | Manila Bulletin Malacañang Palace (Photo by Richard V. Viñas) | Manila Bulletin)

The decision was reached during President Duterte's meeting with Cabinet members in Malacañang lat Monday, according to Presidential spokesman Harry Roque.

"There was an update on ports and domestic shipping routes. We have restored commercial shipping to and from Manila, Davao, Cotabato and General Santos which had been previously suspended because of cheaper air flights," Roque said during a Palace press briefing.

Roque said the President praised the mass transportation solutions presented by Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat during the Cabinet meeting.

He said Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade agreed that such transport solutions could be utilized in the government's Build, Build, Build infrastructure program "provided they have already secured the necessary certificate of safety."

Last June, the President directed Tugade to study the opening of additional sea transportation lines and offer tax incentives for ferry services.

Duterte made the proposal after receiving complaints about the country's limited ferry routes depriving poor travellers of alternative transport.

He noted that some passengers are too poor or afraid to ride airplanes and prefer to ride ferries to reach their destination. He also said some airline companies are strict with the agricultural cargo brought by passengers.