Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY – More industry players in the shipping, freight transport business in the country are encouraged to make use of the alternative Naval and Kawayan Roll-on Roll-off (RORO) ports here in Eastern Visayas.

Calbayog Mayor Mel Senen Sarmiento, who chairs the Regional Development Council-8 (RDC-8), says Eastern Visayas now hosts other alternative routes from Luzon to Mindanao areas that could save more time and cost for the industry.

In the recent report of the RDC-8 construction of the Kawayan Port and Naval Port, both in Biliran province, have already been 100% completed through the Philippine Ports Authority.

“These are alternative routes which industry players can take advantage of if they could give the market a try. It would surely cut the cost of transport particularly in goods that would mean also reduction in prices of these goods when sold in the market and consumed by the people,” Mayor Sarmiento said.

The usual route taken by transportation and freight industry is the Lilo-an Port in Southern Leyte to Allen Port in Northern Samar.

The RDC chairman said Mindanao freights and carriers can instead ply the route from Lilo-an to Kawayan or Naval in Biliran Province, then to Esperanza, Aroroy or Burias Island in Masbate then on to Bicol and the Luzon areas. The travel time alone, Sarmiento said, is already much less than the usual route.

The Naval Port Development Project entailed the construction of RO-RO Ramp and Passenger Terminal Building and the project cost was at P9.9 million. Meanwhile the Kawayan (Balite) Port Development included the extension of RC Pier and construction of RO-RO ramp and cost P17 million. Both are now declared completed by the PPA regional office in Eastern Visayas.

Sarmiento said the port development projects have been undertaken to realize the President’s vision of a seamless transport system.

The RO-RO system is seen not only to reduce the cost of moving goods but also increase regional trade, enhance tourism and agricultural productivity, promote growth in investments and development of the countryside as well as poverty reduction. (AHLETTE C. REYES)

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