FORMER President now Speaker of the House Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo lauded the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) for the establishment of eight new Roll On-Roll Off (RORO) missionary routes.
The RORO system is one of the major projects of Arroyo during her presidency.
She commended the MARINA for its effort to promote greater connectivity and strengthen economic interactions of the various islands of the archipelago.
“I am glad that the MARINA is working towards supporting the growth of trade and greater connectivity in the country. These new missionary routes will increase the efficiency of transportation and shipping which will ultimately spur growth in the regions,” Speaker Arroyo said.
The MARINA made the announcement during the Oversight Committee on Transportation hearing spearheaded by Speaker Arroyo to check on the status of the RORO system.
MARINA OIC Vice Admiral Narciso Vingson Jr. presented the new routes at the oversight meeting conducted in Hilongos, Leyte.
The new routes are Daanbantayan, Cebu to Calbayog City, Samar; Tabuelan, Cebu to Ajuy, Iloilo; Laoay, Bohol to Cagayan de Oro; San Juan, Batangas to Calapan, Oriental Mindoro; Iloilo City to Cuyo, Palawan; San Pascual, Burias Island, Masbate to Pasacao, Camarines Sur; San Andres, Quezon to Pasacao, Camarines Sur and Lucena, Quezon to San Fernando, Cebu.
Vingson explained that being missionary routes, the proponent shipping operator will enjoy a five-year route exclusivity or protection of investment. On top of this, the operator will be granted a 50 percent discount on the regular fees to process all applications and renewal of ship documents, licenses, certificates, and permits.
The establishment of the new routes, which were proposed by shipping operators, is done in support of the Road Roll-on/Roll-off Terminal System (RRTS) as well as the priority program relating to the upgrading of domestic shipping. This is further in line with the development of the nautical highway under the 10-year maritime industry development plan (MIDP).
While the acquisition of a proponent shipping operator’s Certificates of Public Convenience (CPCs) is being processed, the MARINA will issue a letter approval to give the operator four months to start vessel operation on its proposed route.
The eight new industry-proposed missionary routes are in addition to the 19 missionary routes opened in January 2019. By February 2019, interest to ply the unserved routes flooded in as shipping operators submitted applications to serve seven of the 19 routes.