Arroyo to DOTr: ‘Refine’ plan on nation’s RoRo system development
MANILA, Philippines — Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has asked the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to revise its proposed development of the “Roll-On, Roll-Off transport” (RoRo) system.
This, after most of the new routes being pushed by the DOTr had been found to be already existing or are being serviced by shipping lines in nearby ports.
The Pampanga 2nd District congresswoman said she found out that most of the 30 proposed new RoRo routes under DOTr’s Maritime Industry Development Plan (MIDP) for 2019-2028 have already existing ports or are being serviced by other shipping lines.
“Please correct that because you might be submitting an ambitious but it does not have to cost that much,” she said at a briefing of the House transportation committee chaired by Catanduanes Rep. Cesar Sarmiento.
“If there is already an existing port nearby then maybe you can remove that to lessen the expected expenditures. There are many that you can take out so maybe you have to refine this plan. It will be a much shorter plan, easier to carry out,” she added.
The former president also said DOTr should give missionary routes to shipping lines in unserved ports. A missionary route, she explained, is an incentive given to a shipping line to service a new route exclusively for five years.
“Giving the missionary routes, I don’t think you need an executive order for that. You know when I was president, not everything was done by executive order. The departments had a lot of [leeways] because you don’t want to clog Malacañang with executive orders,” she said.
In 2003, then President Arroyo spearheaded the creation of the “Road RoRo Transport System,” a project designed to carry rolling stock cargo that does not require cranes for loading. The system was part of the 919-kilometer Strong Republic Nautical Highway that connected the major islands of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao through an integrated network of highway and vehicular ferry routes.
To date, there are a total of 140 RoRo routes nationwide, according to Arroyo. /kga
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