Opening of Antique to Palawan Ro-Ro nautical highway pushed

ILOILO CITY, March 24 (PNA) — The Regional Development Council (RDC) has urged the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) to facilitate the establishment of the roll on-roll off (Ro-Ro) shipping services from Antique to Palawan.

During its first quarter meeting, the region’s highest policy-making body cited that the construction of the Ro-Ro ramp, rolling cargo platform, back-up area and two breasting dolphins at the Port of San Jose in Antique has been completed in December last year.

Also, the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) has already established Ro-Ro facilities in the Port of Taytay and Port of Cuyo in Palawan.

RDC in adopting the resolution of the Regional Project Monitoring Committee wanted the San Jose, Antique via Cuyo Port to Taytay Port in Palawan and vice-versa opened.

The council, in its resolution, said that the Palawan-Visayas Nautical Highway has been cited as one of the inter-regional Ro-Ro links that need to be developed based on a feasibility study by the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) that was published in November 2007.

“There is a need to open the Taytay-Cuyo San Jose roro route to commercial shipping operations not only to maximize the use of roro facilities that are already in place in these ports, but also to stimulate the growth of maritime industry and propel economic development between Western Visayas and MIMAROPA region,” the council remarked.

Last week, Engr. Antonio Belarga, head of the engineering division of the Panay/Guimaras Port Management Office of PPA disclosed before a business group the plan to open San Jose Port to shipping operators following the completion of their development works at the facility.

PPA has spent some P23.62 million for the construction of the Ro-Ro ramp, rolling cargo platform and back-up area that was completed last year.

The construction of Ro-Ro facilities was done upon the request of Antique’s Sanggunian Panlalawigan thru a resolution urging for the said facility.

PPA has also earmarked Php 7.5 million for the construction of the passenger terminal building and Php 5 million for the repair of port terminal building this year. (PNA)