Arroyo seeks Ro-Ro improvement in the Visayas
CEBU CITY — Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo wants to improve the roll-on, roll-off (Ro-Ro) transport system, a major project that she pushed to connect the country’s islands when she was President.
In a hearing held at the Cebu Port Authority office here on Monday, Arroyo listened to the issues raised by stakeholders, who gave suggestions on how to minimize the cost of transportation in relation to the Ro-Ro project.
“There have been achievements, just like the opening of new routes, but there are issues that we need to address [to improve services],” she told reporters after the hearing led by the House of Representatives transportation committee.
Among the suggestions was letting the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) weigh the trucks and their goods to minimize the cost of transportation.
“That’s why we need to call another hearing that will include the truckers and the DPWH,” Arroyo said.
“The reason we put up Ro-Ro system is we want to put down the cost of transporting goods from Mindanao to the Visayas and [back], and we hope to continue that,” she added.
Present during the committee hearing were Catanduanes Rep. Cesar Sarmiento, chair of the House committee on transportation; Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña; and Cebu Representatives Raul del Mar and Rodrigo Abellanosa.
Sarmiento requested stakeholders to send a memorandum to formalize their concerns. “We will continue to hear how to improve the Ro-Ro system, which is the backbone of this archipelagic country,” he said.
In 2003, Arroyo lined up the P15-billion Greater Maritime Access Ro-Ro project as one of the flagship programs that sought to build 72 ports across the country.
The Ro-Ro system was part of the Arroyo administration’s 919-kilometer Strong Republic Nautical Highway meant to connect the major islands through an integrated network of highway and vehicular ferry routes.
But the administration of former President Benigno Aquino III canceled 66 of the 72 Ro-Ro projects due for construction, saying these were “sources of corruption” for supposedly being overpriced.
Arroyo said she was happy that the Duterte administration decided to revive the Ro-Ro projects.
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