By Emmie V. Abadilla
Shipping operators signified interest to serve 7 out of the 19 Roll-on/Roll-off (RoRo) missionary routes to improve connectivity throughout the archipelago, the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) yesterday announced.
These routes include Batangas City – San Jose, Occidental Mindoro – Coron, Palawan; Lucena, Quezon – Odiongan, Romblon – Caticlan/New Washington; Lucena, Quezon – Romblon, Romblon; Lucena, Quezon – Masbate City – Calbayog, Northern Samar; Maasin, Southern Leyte – Ubay, Bohol; San Andres, Quezon – San Pascual, Masbate – Pasacai, Masbate and Taytay, Palawan – Cuyo, Palawan.
Last month, the Marina declared 19 missionary routes to connect various islands between the Central Nautical Highway to the Eastern Nautical Highway or from the Western Nautical Highway to the Central Nautical Highway.
These missionary routes are part of the remaining 109 lateral routes that need to be served, considering the availability of RoRo-capable ports.
However, a dozen more RoRo missionary routes opened for prospective shipping operators are still awaiting takers.
These include: 1. Basco, Batanes – Currimao, Ilocos Norte; 2. San Juan, Batangas – Abra de Ilog, Occidental Mindoro; 3. Real, Quezon – Polillo Island, Quezon; 4. Pantao, Albay – San Pascual, Masbate; 5. Calbayog City, Samar – Cataingan, Masbate and 6. Cuyo, Palawan – San Jose de Buenavista, Antique.
Also included are: 7. Oslob, Cebu – Dumaguete, Negros Oriental; 8. Punta Engano, Mactan Island, Cebu – Jetafe, Bohol; 9. Poro, Camotes, Cebu – Isabel, Leyte; 10. Lipata, Surigao del Norte – Dapa, Surigao del Norte; 11. Siaton, Negros Oriental – Dipolog City and 12. Lucena, Quezon – Buyabod, Marinduque.
The Marinainformed the Oversight Committee on the RoRo System that all RoRo routes covering the three nautical highways, Eastern Nautical Highway, Central Nautical Highway, and the Western Nautical Highway, have now been fully served.
Shipping companies are also encouraged to propose new missionary routes in addition to the above list that can be developed.
Shipping firms serving missionary routes shall enjoy perks, such as protection of investment for five years and 50 percent discount on the regular fees of all applications and renewal of ship documents, licenses, certificates and permits.
The missionary routes promote the Strong Republic Nautical Highway System (SRNHS) and is part of the 10-Year Maritime Industry Development Plan (MID) which is to upgrade the domestic shipping in support of the Nautical Highway Development.